Mumbai gets five immunity test machines for HIV patientsmumbai Updated: Mar 18, 2018 01:26 IST
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The city got five new machines for a crucial test that patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have to undergo regularly.
The machines monitor their CD4 count – an indicator of their immunity levels. Mumbai had four such machines but patients had to wait for up to two months to get their test results. The CD4 test counts the number of T-cells in the patients’ body that offer immunity against infections.
Officials from Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS) said the new facilities will be available at five antiretroviral treatment (ART) centres at Kandivli, Goregaon, Mulund, Ghatkopar and Govandi, which has the highest number of HIV patients. The facilities were inaugurated on March 16. “The CD4 test facility was previously available only at the four major medical colleges – KEM, JJ, Sion and Nair, so they had a high workload. Now, with these new machines at the ART centres, the patients will not have to travel a lot,” said Dr Srikala Acharya, director, MDACS.
The machines were procured by the Nationals Aids Control Organisation (NACO), using grants by the Global Fund. At present, there are 36,501 HIV patients in the city who are on treatment, all of whom need to undergo the CD4 test every six months. Ganesh Acharya, an HIV patient, who works to create awareness about health policies related to HIV, said, “With new machines, the travel time for patients will go down, and they won’t have to wait for months to get the test results,” he said.