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Doctors join hands for Indian HIV patients

Given birth to India’s first, three doctors, including Ahmedabad’s infectious diseases specialist Dr Atul Patel, have started a help group that will focus on imparting training to local physicians to give HIV patients a uniform quality treatment. On Sunday, an NGO named HIV Medicine Association of India (HIVMAI) was launched in Pune.

HIVMAI is specifically for doctors attending to HIV patients in India. This is the first time HIV specialists have joined hands to form a not–for–profit body that shall focus of problems of Indian positive patients.

The reason behind this focused effort is that HIV patients in the country suffer from a variety of conditions that their counterparts in developed countries do not face.

“For instance HIV patients in India have high rates of tuberculosis and hepatitis, which we do not see in developed countries. Besides, there are resource constrains so families cannot afford good nourishment for the patient. And cost of effective drugs and diagnostics are prohibitive for most,” according to one of the founder members of the organisation, N Kumaraswamy.

“We need to engage in India–specific clinical research and clinical trials, so that our treatment standards reflect India’s unique HIV infection condition,” Kumaraswamy says.

Patel, however, added that HIVMAI hopes to outline and implement programs and guidelines that can influence government programs when it comes to HIV mitigation.

“Newer challenges like drug resistance, anti–Retroviral toxicity and complex drug interactions are issues we face in India. The website of the NGO would be a resource for all doctors interested in HIV medicine and also contains clinical information for people living with AIDS,” Patel says.

There are three British NGOs that have joined hands with HIVMAI for the purpose of imparting training for doctors and sharing information.

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Source: Times of India

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