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Mumbai: HIV/AIDS treatment, counselling go online

Updated on: 01 December,2022 07:42 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Suraj Pandey |

Site, launched today, seeks to cater to those reluctant to visit hospitals and provide crucial info

Mumbai: HIV/AIDS treatment, counselling go online

The MDACS deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HIV/AIDS. Representation pic

On the occasion of World AIDS Day, the Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS), an autonomous body established by the BMC, will launch a site named E-Nirantar to provide information and online services. Both doctors and counsellors are available on the platform.

MDACS, which deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HIV/AIDS, has taken a giant leap in terms of providing e-services to people living with HIV and those who have queries related to it. Dr Vijay Karanjkar, additional project director, MDACS, said one can book an appointment for online counselling related to HIV/AIDS on the platform.

“People can book appointments for HIV testing and people living with HIV/AIDS can upload their reports, which will be examined by the doctors available on the platform. Doctors can upload medical prescriptions via online teleconsultation,” he said. When booking online appointments, site visitors will get a message about the date and time of consultation with the doctor and the counsellor.

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Dr Shrikala Acharya, former additional project director, MDACS, who had been working on the project for the past year, said, “To date, our services are spread in public hospitals, centres and mobile camps, so there is a need for more services for at-risk youth, those who don’t want to or hesitate to opt for public health setups. Even private hospitals treat patients but there is no counselling for them. Individuals have lots of queries that remain unanswered. So this website will fulfil their unmet needs of people and those who are living with HIV/AIDS. One can make both audio and video calls, so those without a smartphone can also consult.”

Programme is back on track

>> All health initiatives were hit during the pandemic and the testing and case detection rate had gone down in the case of HIV, too. However, these programmes are getting back on track. According to the Mumbai District AIDS Control Society, 4,75,540 people were tested in 2019-20 in the city, out of which 4,473 or 0.9 per cent were found to be HIV positive. In 2021-22, out of 3,87,399 people tested, 3,087 or 0.08 per cent were found to be HIV positive. From April 2022 to October, 1,910 people out of 2,52,962—0.08 per cent—tested positive for HIV.

>> In 2021-22, 1,245 deaths due to HIV was reported in the city. In 2019-20, the figure stood at 1,265; and 487 people succumbed to the disease between April and October this year.

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