Times of India
11 November 2010
By Avanindra Mishra
Negligence in treatment of HIV+ might cause termination of medical practitioners’ registration. The Rajasthan Medical Council has released fresh instructions to doctors to strictly adhere to the national guidelines. The new instructions have been released following a concern expressed by NACO over abuse of second–line drugs for anti retroviral treatment (ART).
All practitioners will now have to submit a quarterly report to National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO). "Denying treatment, discrimination or negligence in treatment of a HIV positive patient is a heinous offence. Such a practitioner will lose his registration and will have to face legal action," said Dr Archana Johri, registrar, Rajasthan Medical Council.
"In several instances patients were given treatment directly on second–line regime,’’ said a NACO official. A drug may be classed as second–line instead of firstline for one of two possible reasons: it may be less effective than the first–line drugs; or, may have toxic side–effects; or may be unavailable in many developing countries.
Adverse impact on the structured national programme and consequent burden of drug resistance among patients were stated as a few side effects of irrational use of second line drugs. The ART treatment for first line is available free at 284 ART centres across the country, providing treatment to nearly 3.5 lakh patients. However, those seeking treatment at private institutions need to be more vigilant over the issue.
"An HIV patient can live for a considerable period while on continuous treatment. If the virus becomes resistant to the first line drugs, patients are gradually shifted to the second line. Thus, treatment should be initiated with the first line drugs," says another doctor.
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