Even as the state mulls over a proposal for free bus passes for patients living with HIV/AIDS, the Maharashtra State AIDS Control Society (MSACS) has planned a comprehensive package of services for children affected with HIV/AIDS in Sangli and Nagpur districts.
This is part of the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO)s pilot project in ten districts across the country where various services will be provided to children affected by AIDS (CABA) in order to sustain them, Ramesh Deokar, Project Director of MSACS told The Indian Express.
While the details of the project are being worked out, Deokar said that the network of people living with HIV in Maharashtra (NMP+) and Avert society will be involved in the CABA project in Sangli and Nagpur districts. India is home to 2.5 million HIV/AIDS patients, including over 70,000 children below the age of 14.
According to Dr B B Rewary, national programme officer of Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART), a total of 3.74 lakh people are on first line drugs for treatment of HIV while a total of 1042 have been put on second line drugs. Rewary said that a review will be conducted in April of the ten centres which are providing second line drugs before expanding the programme.
Deokar further pointed out that in Maharashtra there were a total of 19,000 children living with HIV. The CABA project aimed at sustaining such children by taking care of their nutrition and providing other support activities. Presently the facility of Drop in centres for PLHAs has been upgraded in various districts, he said.