AHF concerns

As we celebrate World HIV Vaccination Day on May 18e every year it is crucial to recognize the stark reality: an estimated 38 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS, of which 2.3 million are in India alone. As the HIV vaccine remains elusive, the importance of early diagnosis and linkage to care for people living with HIV (PLHIV) cannot be overstated. Early detection enables timely intervention and treatment, which can significantly improve health outcomes and quality of life for PLHIV. Furthermore, a good connection to care ensures that individuals receive comprehensive medical attention. It also facilitates the continued monitoring of virus progression, managing symptoms and preventing opportunistic infections.
Early diagnosis and linkage to care have significantly improved the lives of millions of people like Ranjita Devi (name changed), whose life took an unexpected turn in February 2023. At one of the screening camps in Samastipur, Bihar, organized by Palladium as part of AHF India Cares’ Community Based HIV Testing and Linkage (CBHTL) project, she tested positive for HIV.
As part of the National HIV Counseling and Testing Protocol, Ranjita underwent confirmatory testing at the nearest Integrated Counseling and Testing Centre. The results were astonishing – while kit 1 showed a negative result, kit 2 showed a positive result. Seeking clarity, Ranjita was referred to a hospital in Muzaffarpur for another confirmatory test. But even after repeated tests, the outcome remained unchanged, plunging Ranjita deeper into despair.
Realizing the urgency of the situation, the Palladium team contacted the ICTC consultant at the district hospital, starting a chain of consultations to ensure the correct diagnosis. With the intervention of Bihar SACS, an Eliza test was conducted at the blood bank in Samastipur. Finally, Ranjita underwent the confirmatory test in January 2024, which definitively confirmed her diagnosis. Ranjita was treated immediately.
Proper and early diagnosis and subsequent linkage to care were crucial in Ranjita’s journey. With the support of healthcare professionals and the compassionate guidance of ART Center physicians, she understood that HIV is not the end of the world. She gained a deeper understanding of the widespread taboo surrounding HIV and recognized the complex societal views and misconceptions that contribute to discrimination and marginalization of people living with the virus. Today, Ranjita is living a healthy life with dignity and creating awareness around her about HIV.
Mr. Amit Patjoshi, CEO of Palladium India, said: “We express our sincere gratitude to AHF India Cares for this valuable collaboration.” He added:“AHF India Cares recognized the importance of last-mile support and partnered with Palladium India to strengthen community-based rapid testing, counseling and linkage services across 9 states and 22 districts of India. Palladium works under the National AIDS and STD Control Program (NACP) to ensure that no individual is left behind in the fight against HIV/AIDS. In 2023, the project screened a total of 2,51,000 individuals with antiretroviral therapy (ART) and achieved 90% linkage. This year, the program has already screened 66,187 people for HIV, of which 994 people are HIV positive, 84% of which are associated with ART.
HIV care means embracing early diagnosis and treatment, empowering individuals to take control of their health, and fostering a community of support and compassion. Together we can break barriers, save lives and build a healthier, brighter future.
Disclaimer: This press release was automatically generated. The MVO Journaal is not responsible for the content.

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