KOHIMA: On Monday, Nagaland, home to more than 12,000 PLHIV, received its first HIV-1 viral load laboratory. Viral load testing, which is necessary for PLHIV patients at least once a year, would be made easier for the patients by the laboratory established up in Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK).
India is committed to eradicating the AIDS epidemic as a public health issue by 2030, according to Commissioner and Secretary for Health and Family Welfare Department, Y Kikheto Sema. India is a signatory of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3.3.
On the other hand, according to Commissioner and Secretary for Health and Family Welfare Department, Y Kikheto Sema, “Viral load testing for PLHIV is required to be done at least once a year. If the viral load does not decrease, the patient is not responding to the medication and will need to start a different course of treatment. The laboratory will assist medical professionals in treating PLHIV appropriately.”
He added that during the epidemic, shipping blood samples beyond the state was extremely difficult for the state. He said that due to Manipur's current law and order situation, viral load samples have been unable to be sent to RIMS, Imphal for the previous two months.
The difficulty experienced by patients would now be rectified, and the health department would be able to offer timely, high-quality services to those in need, according to Dr. Vibeituonuo M. Sachu, main director, H&FW.
Approximately 12,290 PLHIV in Nagaland are undergoing treatment, and many more have not been approached or tested, according to him. According to the health official, Nagaland has the second-highest rate of HIV positive people in the nation and the highest rate of antenatal care in India, which presents a significant problem for the state.