Raipur, May 22: Viral Load Machine worth nearly Rs 90 lakh has been brought to Chhattisgarh for installation at Raipur Medical College here. Director, Health Ranu Sahu said that viral load capacity of people with HIV/AIDS would be evaluated through this machine. Severity of HIV infection can be determined with the help of viral load kits before start of the appropriate treatment regimen for people with HIV.
Viral Load Machine, given by the central government, would be installed at microbiology department at 2nd floor of Pt Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Medical College (PtJNMC) Raipur. The Health Director said that Rs 10 lakh had been given to Medical College for installation of viral load machine. Head of Department of Microbiology in PtJNMC Dr Arvind Neral said that the machine would be installed within 25 days. He said that platform and fall ceiling construction works were currently underway for installation of the machine.
National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) sends blood samples of people with HIV/AIDS to Mumbai for viral load screening. But with availability of this machine at Raipur Medical College, about 30 thousand people with HIV in Chhattisgarh would be able to get their viral load results within few hours. According to NACO guidelines, people with HIV are first subjected to assessment of CD4 count. Medicines are given to patients on the basis of their CD 4 counts. Now with availability of viral load test in addition to CD 4 count doctors would be able to prescribe accurate doses of medicines and know whether second line treatment has to be started or not.
NACO has chalked out ambitious 90-90-90 strategy to diagnose 90% of all HIV-positive persons, provide antiretroviral therapy (ART) for 90% of those diagnosed, and achieve viral suppression for 90% of those treated by 2020. Five ART centres and 12 link ART centres are already functioning in the state. People with HIV can get medicines at free of cost from these centres.