AIDS control: 13 more VCTC centres soon | india | Hindustan Times
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AIDS control: 13 more VCTC centres soon

THE UTTAR Pradesh AIDS Control Society has decided to open 13 more Voluntary Counselling and Testing Centres (VCTC) in the State. This will happen within the next two months under phase one of the National AIDS Control Programme, scheduled to end this year.

india Updated: Jun 11, 2006 01:39 IST

THE UTTAR Pradesh AIDS Control Society has decided to open 13 more Voluntary Counselling and Testing Centres (VCTC) in the State.

This will happen within the next two months under phase one of the National AIDS Control Programme, scheduled to end this year.

“As people often hesitate to go to the centres for various reasons like social stigma, it was decided to open more centres to cater to the growing population,” said assistant director (care and support) of UPSACS, Muktha Sharma.

The cities where new centres would be opened are Jai Prakash Nagar, Sant Kabir Nagar, Kanpur Dehat, Kannauj, Shravasti, Mahamaya Nagar, Kaushambi, Auraiya, Gorakhpur, Allahabad, Lucknow (two centres) and Chitrakoot.

The decision to open new centres came after a major field survey was conducted to explore the possibility of getting voluntary cases for testing through targeted intervention programme. The cities were selected after going through the possibility of increase in the number of voluntary visitors.

People from one district go to another place to get the test done, even if it is a referral one. Similar is the condition at ART centres where people come for medicines as they avoid taking medicines at a centre in their own city.

However, before actually starting the new centres the focus would be to develop required infrastructure and train the selected manpower.

Since most of the new centres would be opened at the community health centres (CHC), especially designed counselling rooms, where the counsellor can actually talk in privacy to the visitor, have to be constructed. 

“For training the selected counselor, we have designed a counselling training module, which would be shared with the selected counsellors on June 5. Each centre would have a male and a female counsellor for the visiting volunteers,” Sharma said.

The State presently has 70 VCTCs and with the opening of more centres some cities would get two or more of them. In the State capital the new centres would be opened at the pathology department of SGPGIMS and Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee hospital.

The centre at SGPGIMS was opened last year but in a hurry to get it started the hospital administration forgot to get the staff trained for proper functioning. So this centre would formally start functioning after the training session for counsellors.

Why focus remains on voluntary centres instead of getting more referral cases? When asked Sharma said, “Over 60 per cent of identified HIV cases are the result of multiple sex partners which means focus must be made on behaviour.

By focusing more on voluntary centres we try to give proper counselling to the people in the society who may further spread the message.”