HIV / Aids Programs
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. In 2005, we added medical services. As of late 2011, the award-winning programs had reached 78,589 people. More than 1,495 HIV-positive people are registered with PRASAD’s HIV/AIDS Program – an increase of 40 percent from 2009. That means more people are seeking treatment and curbing the spread of the disease. In 2009, the program’s staff hosted a training session attended by representatives from other India-based NGOs.
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 up to four HIV/AIDS awareness trainings or meetings per day in villages and for students and high-risk groups like factory workers and rickshaw and truck drivers.
PRASAD Chikitsa’s Family Health Center (FHC) provides HIV testing and counseling for the children and adults in PRASAD’s service area. The Indian government has recognized the FHC as an Integrated Counseling and Testing Centre under Public/Private Partnership.
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. In late 2004, PRASAD collaborated with public health centers in the Tansa Valley to establish the Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission Program (PPTCTP). The Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission Program (PPTCTP) gives free, prenatal screenings for HIV and other STDs to all pregnant women who give informed consent. We also provide antiretroviral therapy (ART) drugs to pregnant mothers infected with HIV. To date, all babies born to PPTCTP participants have been HIV-free. If in the future, any babies of HIV-positive patients are born infected, PRASAD Chikitsa will provide them with long-term drug therapy.
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 psycho/social/spiritual counseling. In 2010, the HIV program held over 9,500 counseling sessions.