FAQ – Care and Support
Q.1 Do AIDS cases require a separate ward?
Ans: NACO does not support separate ward for AIDS patients. AIDS patients are to be treated at par with the general patients and there should be no discrimination.
Q.2 If testing has to be done in the hospital, is the consent of the patient required?
Ans: Yes. Whenever HIV test is done, the consent has to be taken. In case of unconscious patients, the consent of the relatives has to be taken.
Q.3 What is the importance of ICTC in care and support?
Ans: ICTC is an entry point for care and support of HIV/AIDS. Whenever a person feels, he can walk to an ICTC and get himself tested. If tested positive, follow up counselling is suggested at the ICTC for referrals and treatment of HIV/AIDS patients.
Q.4 Is the government considering to provide anti retroviral therapy for AIDS cases?
Ans: Government as yet is not considering provision of anti retroviral therapy because of its cost. Antenatal therapy is not a cure but can only prolong the life of the patient and the drugs have to be continued for lifetime.
Q.5 What efforts are being made to integrate HIV/AIDS/STD prevention and control activities into primary healthcare?
Ans: Integration into primary healthcare is a priority because it is necessary for ensuring sustainability. Two examples of an integrated approach are the implementation of HIV/AIDS care and STD prevention and control. For example, a continuum of HIV/AIDS care is being promoted as part of primary healthcare, with linkages to be established between institutional, community and home levels. In the area of STD prevention and control, a syndromic approach to STD diagnosis is most suitable in the developing world as it does not require laboratory tests, and treatment can be given at the first contact with health services. WHO strongly advocates that all primary healthcare workers be trained in the syndromic approach to STD management.
Q.6 What steps has the Government of India taken to tackle the dual epidemic of HIV-TB?
Ans: Recognising the serious threat posed by HIV-TB co-infection, the Government of India has emphasised the need for strengthening collaboration between TB and AIDS control programmes for better management of HIV-infected patients with TB. An Action Plan for tackling this dual epidemic has been drawn up at the Centre between both the programmes which is initially focussed on the six high prevalence states and is under implementation at the moment by both the National Programmes. Efforts are being made to establish Integrated Counselling & Testing for HIV, diagnosis for TB and Directly Observed Treatment–short course for TB under the same roof to make such services available to the needy patients.
Q.7 What precautions should be taken while treating HIV and TB at the same time?
Ans: Certain anti-TB medications may affect the levels of anti-HIV medications and vice versa. Hence treatment of both diseases should be under the supervision of an experienced physician, the dosages should be closely monitored and adjusted as needed. If possible, treatment of TB should be completed before starting anti retroviral.