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53% of Maharashtra HIV+ patients who stopped treatment untraceable: Report

This development raises concerns of such patients risking their own lives and inadvertently spreading the infection.

mumbai Updated: Aug 13, 2018 06:15 IST
Aayushi Pratap
Aayushi Pratap
Hindustan Times
AIDS,HIV positive,Treatment
MSACS officials will check if these patients are now availing of treatment at private hospitals. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Across Maharashtra, 25,000 HIV patients have stopped treatment since 2012, and more than half of them are untraceable, raising concerns that such patients may be risking their own lives and unknowingly spreading the infection to other people.

The Maharashtra State AIDS Control Society (MSACS) compiled this data after health workers went looking for patients who had not turned up for treatment at government centres. Patients are considered to have stopped treatment, or ‘loss-to-follow-up’, if they do not show up at government centres for more than three months. Since 2012, 53% of loss-to-follow-up patients have not been traceable, as they had given incorrect addresses.

Before 2012, there were 15,000 loss- to-follow- up cases, of which 30% had died.

MSACS officials now plan to check if such patients, after stopping treatment at government centres, are taking medicines in the private sector. MSACS has intensified its efforts to find them after the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) set September 2018 as the deadline for all states to update information about these patients.

First Published: Aug 13, 2018 06:15 IST