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351 tested HIV+ve during 2018-19 in Kashmir: Govt

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Srinagar: Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar on Monday reviewed the functioning of J&K State AIDS Control Society. He also discussed the implementation of National AIDS Control Programme in the state and the efforts being undertaken by the society in this regard.
The meeting was attended by Financial Commissioner Health, Atal Dulloo, Project Director JKSACS Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Rather and other concerned officers.
A detailed presentation was made by the Project Director JKSACS highlighting the main components of National AIDS Control Programme and the activities that are being carried out by the Society to achieve desired results in successfully implementing this programme in the state.
It was informed that there are six main components of National AIDS control Programme including Basic Services Division (BSD), Blood Transfusion Services (BTS), Targeted Intervention (TI), Care, Support & Treatment (CST), Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) and Information Education & Communication (IEC).
The meeting was further apprised that under the ongoing National AIDS Control Programme – IV (2012-19), focus is being laid on Comprehensive Care Support & Treatment to all persons living with HIV/AIDS.
With regard to the efforts in progress under NACP-IV for HIV Testing, the Project Director informed that during 2018-19, 86654 individuals were tested for HIV out of which 351 were found HIV+ve. Among pregnant women, tests were conducted for 86330 and 13 were found infected with HIV+ve.
A brief discussion was also held on the activities under Blood Transfusion Services (BTS) it was told that presently there are total 35 Blood Banks operational in the State which includes 23 NACO Supported, 4 Private, 4 Army as well as 4 being operated by other health institutions in the state. The Advisor was informed that the department is working on the proposal to establish Blood Banks at Samba, Reasi, Bandipora, Ganderbal and Shopian.
Role of State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) was also discussed in the meeting which deals with the activities pertaining to the promotion of voluntary blood donation and monitoring of blood banks in the state.
During 2018-19, a total of 73572 blood units were collected out of which 62896 were voluntary donation and 223 camps were organized for voluntary blood donation, the meeting was informed.
The activities under Targeted Intervention (TI), the important component of NACP which focuses on targeting high risk groups were also discussed in detail during the meeting. It was told that JKSACS is putting in sincere efforts for successfully running target Intervention Projects including outreach, commodity distribution, clinical services, targeted IEC and community mobilization.
The Advisor was further informed that JKSACS is also implementing HIV and TB intervention in Prisons with support of SAATHI organization in the state under which jail inmates were also tested for HIV and TB.
While discussing the important component Care Support & Treatment, the Advisor stressed on providing proper counseling and other kind of support to the people living with HIV. It was informed that free treatment, support & Aid is being provided to these people under which financial assistance of Rs 6000 annually is being provided to them individually. A proposal to enhance the said amount is already submitted before the government for its consideration, the Project Director said.
Various issues pertaining to the strengthening of JKSACS, up-gradation of infrastructure, procurement of advanced equipments for conducting HIV tests and other issues were also discussed in the meeting.
The Advisor asked to effectively contribute in controlling and preventing HIV & AIDS in the state and to conduct mass awareness programme among people in this regard. He said that every kind of support would be provided by the government for strengthening of JKSACS.
He also asked to have focused attention for making targeted interventions in the shape of innovative projects so that the objective can be achieved.

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