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Metropolis Healthcare and National Aids Control Organization, India, come together for HIV Viral Load testing

There will be HIV Viral Load testing for patients across 525 antiretroviral therapy (ART) centres in the country.

Written by Editorial Team |Published : February 12, 2018 3:20 PM IST

Metropolis Healthcare Ltd was recently awarded the contract by NACO, Ministry of Health, and Government of India to conduct HIV Viral Load testing for patients across 525 antiretroviral therapy (ART) centres in the country, bringing about a sweeping change in treating HIV patients in the country. This initiative has begun from 8th February 2018.

Keeping in line with its CSR commitment of positively bringing in a change in the community, this partnership comes in as a testament to Metropolis' social responsibility.

Speaking on the alliance, Dr Naresh Goel, Deputy Director General, NACO said ". 8th February is a historic day because together we have begun viral load testing as a routine test for the first time. We are extremely happy that Metropolis will be our partner to deliver this project. The NACO model has won credibility across the globe for its AIDS control program and for bringing down the prevalence. We have recorded a 67% dip in prevalence since 2000 and 54% dip in AIDS related death from HIV since 2007. The Viral Load Testing is an important step in our goal of Eliminating AIDS by 2030."

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The NACO and Metropolis teams are geared up for the execution of the project. Kits used for testing will be US FDA Approved, IVD and CE approved to be provided by Roche.

Dr Sushil Shah, Founder Chairman, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd said "It's a moment of pride for us because Metropolis was the first laboratory to start HIV testing back in 1985 and we have been doing HIV Viral Load Testing since 2005. We have a huge advantage in terms of quality and experience. We are confident that with this partnership, we will be able to make a positive impact in people living with HIV."

Speaking on the partnership, Ms Ameera Shah, Promoter & Managing Director said "It is heartening to see the effort the government is taking to change the lives of people living with HIV. We are happy to be able to make an impact through our reports. Metropolis is fully equipped to support NACO in its vision in terms of expert team, quality of reports, best turnaround time and the infrastructure to do high volume testing."

What is HIV-1 viral load?

HIV viral load testing measures the amount of HIV genetic material (RNA) in the blood and reports how many copies of the virus are present. Evidence shows that keeping the viral load at undetectable levels decreases an infected person's risk of progressing to AIDS and greatly improves long-term health.

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