NACO head reviews facilities at PGI

Lov Verma, Director General, National AIDS Control Organization and Secretary, Department of AIDS Control, visited the NACO associated facilities being provided at PGIMER, Chandigarh on Saturday.

He was welcomed by Prof S Varma, in charge of the Centre of Excellence (COE) in HIV care and Anti Retroviral Therapy Center. He was shown the counseling and testing facilities and the treatment and care facilities being provided at PGI.

He interacted with the faculty and staff and took a keen interest in the research projects being carried out by the COE. The integrated counseling and testing facility under the department of Obstetrics and Gynae was also visited by him, where he was told about the PPTCT program being run under NACO.

Earlier, he visited the peripheral units being run by the Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society along with Dr Vanita Gupta, Project Director, Chandigarh SACS.

He also visited the blood bank where Dr Neelam Marwaha, Head, Department of Blood Transfusion, PGIMER gave him an update about the programme. He was informed that the Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) was being carried out for screening of blood by the department, for early detection (within the window period) of HIV and other transfusion transmissible infections.

He also visited the State Reference Laboratory and HIV Testing Lab in PGIMER. Dr S K Arora, In-charge of the Laboratory, apprised him of various activities being carried out in the Lab. He pointed out that it would be of benefit to patients, if those who are failing therapy could be provided with a test for finding out the sensitivity of the virus to various drugs available for treatment.

Later, he visited a Targeted Intervention Project being implemented among injecting drug users at Ramdarbar, Chandigarh and reviewed the Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST) and Needle Syringe Exchange Programme (NSEP) which is being implemented by one of the partner NGOs (SEHAT) of the Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society.

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