The district hospital in Sector 30 has been facing an acute shortage of HIV testing kits for over 10 days now. Several people who visit this government hospital suspecting HIV/AIDS are being turned away and a date after October 7 is being allotted to them for the test.
According to the Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre (ICTC) at the district hospital, 25 to 35 people visit the centre to test HIV/AIDS on a daily basis. Since there are less than 75 kits left at the centre, only five to eight people are being tested every day.
“HIV/AIDS test is being conducted only for emergency cases. Other people are being told to come after the first week of October. Even though we are unable to test them, we counsel them and request them to come back again,” an official said on condition of anonymity.
Shortage of kits is also delaying the HIV/AIDS test of pregnant women. Ideally, pregnant women are tested for the infection between four to five months of pregnancy. Since there are less than 150 kits left at Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission Centre (PPCTC), the pregnant women are being tested only on the seventh and eighth month of pregnancy.
“I was told by my doctor to get HIV/AIDS test done as I’ve been down with fever for some time. When I went to the hospital, I was told to come after October 7,” a visitor to ICTC said.
According to the hospital officials, there has been a delay in supply from Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society, Lucknow. “Three tests are done to confirm HIV/AIDS. We have kits for the first two tests, but we are short of the third kit. Without the third test, we cannot confirm the infection,” Dr HM Lavania, head of pathology department of district hospital, Gautam Budh Nagar, said.