Currently, there are estimated to be 2.1 million HIV positive cases in India. As in other parts of the developing world, HIV/AIDS in India affects the most vulnerable and marginalized people. The Tansa Valley is particularly vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, as it has a large migratory workforce because of the industry in the region, and two major truck routes that traverse the valley.
PRASAD Chikitsa’s HIV/AIDS Programs
PRASAD Chikitsa began HIV/AIDS awareness programs in the Tansa Valley in 2004. Approximately 1,700 HIV-positive people are registered with the program. The Prevention of Parent-to-Child Transmission provides antiretroviral therapy (ART) drugs to pregnant mothers infected with HIV.
The Indian government has recognized PRASAD’s facilities as an Integrated Counseling and Testing Centre under Public/Private Partnership.
The objectives of PRASAD Chikitsa’s Comprehensive HIV/AIDS programs are to:
- Create awareness about HIV/AIDS
- Provide early diagnosis, treatment and support
- Serve children whose lives have been affected by the disease
PRASAD Chikitsa social workers, volunteers and doctors hold awareness talks in the villages for women, students, and high-risk groups, such as factory workers or rickshaw and truck drivers. Over 100,000 people have been reached through PRASAD’s awareness and education program.
HIV Testing and Counseling
PRASAD Chikitsa’s Family Health Center (FHC) provides HIV testing and counseling for the children and adults in PRASAD’s service area. Each year, PRASAD provides nearly 5,000 counseling sessions. The Indian government has recognized the FHC as an Integrated Counseling and Testing Centre under Public/Private Partnership.
Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission
One of the most effective ways to combat HIV is to prevent pregnant women who are HIV-positive from passing the infection to their unborn children. The Prevention of Parent to ChildTransmission Program (PPTCTP) provides free prenatal screenings for HIV to all pregnant women who give informed consent. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) drugs is provided to pregnant mothers infected with HIV.
Treatment and Support
In partnership with the Indian government’s ART Centers, PRASAD Chikitsa makes sure that all HIV positive patients who need ART are receiving it. Patients also receive nutritional support, treatment of secondary infections and psychological/social/spiritual counseling. Each year, PRASAD provides nearly 3,900 counseling sessions.