NACO updates treatment guidelines for AIDS- Every HIV patient should be treated with ART

Regardless of the CD4 count, clinical stage, age or population.

According to the new updated national guidelines all HIV diagnosed patients regardless of the CD4 count, clinical stage, age or population are to be treated with Antiretro viral Therapy . So far, only those with the CD4 count-- the cluster of differentiation which is a type of white blood cells less than 500-- were put on ART treatment. Whereas those with the CD4 count, above 500 were advised no active treatment but only tests every six months. This revision of making it mandatory to treat every patient diagnosed HIV positive has been achieved based on the recommendation of the World Health Organisation. The OM updated by the National Aids Control Organisation also says, "The patients who are in Pre ART care should undergo a fresh CD4 count if it is more than three months old and baseline investigations before ART initiation as per revised criteria. Adequate counselling and preparedness need to be ensured before ART initiation in all PLHIV, particularly for those with higher CD4 count as they are likely to be asymptomatic and are more likely to default."

Reports are that the ART clinics across Mumbai were asked to trace all patients who were recorded as HIV positive but had not started ART. Health workers are currently counselling the patients to put them on free treatment. According to reports by The Indian Express 50% of the patients have now been contacted. (You might want to read: Gay men across the world still bear a huge burden of HIV-AIDS or World AIDS Day: Social stigma attached to HIV is causing depression in patients)

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