Union Health Ministry launches Viral Load test for People Living with HIV/AIDS
The test will empower medical officers to detect failure on first line treatment and therefore save PLHIV from developing resistance to drugs.
JP Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare on February 26, 2018 launched the Viral Load testing for all People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV).
Viral Load test is a big step forward in treating and monitoring people living with HIV.
Viral Load testing for all People Living with HIV/AIDS
• The initiative will provide free of cost viral load testing to 12 lakh PLHIV for treatment in India at least once a year.
• It will be of immense importance to monitor the effectiveness of treatment of patients taking lifelong Antiretroviral Therapy (ART).
• It will optimize the utilization of 1st line regimens, thus preventing drug resistance and ensuring the longevity of people living with HIV.
• It will empower medical officers to detect failure on first line treatment and therefore save PLHIV from developing resistance to drugs.
• It will also help in strengthening ‘Mission Sampark’ in tracking LFU (Loss to Follow Up) PLHIV.
‘Treat All’ Initiative
• Earlier in 2017, the Union Health Ministry revised the Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) treatment protocols to initiate 'Treat All' initiative.
• This initiative was started to ensure that treatment begins early and the virus transmission is curtailed both at the individual and the community level.
• Now, around 12 lakh PLHIV are availing the benefit of free treatment from more than 530 ART centres.
Guidelines and Procedures for Viral Load Laboratory Testing
JP Nadda also released the National Guidelines for HIV-1 Viral Load Laboratory Testing, National Operational Guidelines for Viral Load Testing, Standard Operating Procedure for HIV-1 Quant Assay with CBNAAT and Guidelines on Quality Monitoring System for Outsourced Viral Load Tests.