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More facilities for HIV patients

Biometric cards with a person's medical data will be given to all HIV positive people being treated free at government centres to allow them to access AIDS medicine across the country, reports Rhythma Kaul.

delhi Updated: Nov 06, 2008 23:34 IST
Rhythma Kaul

Biometric cards with a person's medical data will be given to all HIV positive people being treated free at government centres to allow them to access AIDS medicine across the country.

"Most patients who miss a dose do so because they cannot make it to the ART (antiretroviral therapy) centre where they are registered. These smart cards will allow patients to carry their medical information in their pocket and give doctors at all ART centres information about the case history and the treatment prescribed, ensuring patients don't miss their medicine," said Dr B.B. Rewari, national programme officer (ART), National AIDS Control Organisation.

"The pilot project as been cleared and it is just a matter of time before the cards are ready," he added.

Dr Michel Kazatchkine, executive director, Global Fund on AIDS, TB and Malaria, inaugurated a state-of-the-art ART clinic at Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital on Wednesday. The model ART centre — the first of its kind in north India — has a unique air-exchange system to avoid cross infection among people with HIV who have low immunity and are susceptible to infections.

About 5,000 HIV positive patients registered At RML's ART clinic, with more than 1,500 on ART medicines. "The new clinic has been set up to help patients. Going by the increasing in numbers, HIV care needs to come up as a separate specialty branch," said Dr SK Sharma, chief medical officer, RML.