HIV patients undergo hardship

HIV patients undergo hardship
Highlights

HIV patients undergo hardship. Fate of hundreds of HIV patients in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are left in the lurch as bifurcation process of the Andhra Pradesh State Aids Control Society (APSACS) has still remained unfinished.

Hyderabad: Fate of hundreds of HIV patients in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are left in the lurch as bifurcation process of the Andhra Pradesh State Aids Control Society (APSACS) has still remained unfinished. The APSACS has been placed under Scheduled 10 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act it has led to delay in National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) releasing funds and material.

This has led to disruption in extending services to patients. An HIV pensioner from Nalgonda district Kalyan said, “Patients are not paid pensions in time by the APSACS.” He pointed out that there were about 2 lakh HIV patients like him. But, they were not paid pension for the last four to six months in both the states,” he added.

On the top of it, the District Level Integrated Counselling and Testing Centers (ICTC), Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) centres have not been getting regular supply of material and CD4 count test kits. The uncertainty prevailing in the functioning of the APSACS has even resulted in its Deputy Director of Care and Support Centre P Mekhala going on leave.

The fallout of non-completion of the division of the APSACS has also led to financial and functional problems, said the officials of the Society. The Telangana State government is yet to take over the APSACS as it is located in the Telangana geographical area, and transfer its bank accounts and change the name of Society as Telangana State Aids Control Society (TSSACS).

On the other the AP government has reportedly initiated the process of creating new APSACS to take up the AIDS control programme in the state. However, unless both the governments consult NACO to release the funds separately to two states, there is no breather for patients, said Kalyan. Also, “Employees of the APSACS expressed their disappointment over delay in division of the Society resulting not getting their salaries.

This has resulted in key staff like Lab technicians and counsellors failing to extend their services, resulting in the whole progress getting bogged down,” pointed out Mohammad Fareed, Telangana AIDS Control Lab Technicians Union state secretary. When asked, a senior official said the TS government had already issued two GOs appointing Jyothi Buddha Prakash as Project Director of TSSACS.

By V Naveen Kumar

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