HIV infection is not the end of life. People can lead a healthy life for a long time with appropriate medical care. Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) effectively suppresses replication, if taken at the right time. Successful viral suppression restores the immune system and halts onset and progression of disease as well as reduces chances of getting opportunistic infections – this is how ART is aimed to work. Medication thus enhances both quality of life and longevity.
Adherence to ART is Critical
Adherence to ART regimen is therefore very vital in this treatment. Any irregularity in following the prescribed regimen can lead to resistance to HIV drugs, and therefore can weaken or negate its effect.
ART is Accessible to All
ART is now available free to all those who need it. Public health facilities are mandated to ensure that ART is provided to people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA). Special emphasis is given to the treatment of sero-positive women and infected children.
When is ART Given?
There are 528 ART centers operating in the country as of 17th October, 2016.
Where are these ART Centers Located?
In order to make treatment more accessible ART centers are located in medical colleges, district hospitals and non-profit charitable institutions providing care, support and treatment services to PLHA. A PLHA network person at each of the ART center facilitates access to care and treatment services at these centers. ART centers also provide counselling and follow up on treatment adherence and support through community care centers.
Pediatric Care and Support
The primary goal of pediatric prevention, care and treatment programme is to prevent HIV infection to newborns through Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission (PPTCT) and provide treatment and care to all children infected by HIV.