Pharma

Making CD 4 level test accessible to HIV/ AIDS victims in India

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National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), Clinton Foundation and Becton Dickinson (BD) India, through a public-private partnership shows the way for HIV/ AIDS victims. The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), the Clinton Foundation and Becton Dickinson (BD) India have recently come together to provide subsidized CD4 monitoring to the HIV positive population. Under the agreement, BD will be providing highly subsidized flow cytometry machines to NACO for CD4 monitoring. These machines, which are deployed in 58 centres across 40 cities and towns in India, have been specially developed for high accuracy but reduced costs. To ensure accuracy of results, training is provided regularly for technicians manning the machines. The CD4 cells (aka T cells or T helper cells) are the primary targets of the HIV virus. The CD4 count means the number of CD4 cells per microlitre of blood. It is the standard test for assessing HIV stage and prognosis, and for monitoring progression to AIDS and risk of opportunistic illness. In order to ensure that the correct dosage of ARVs (anti-retroviral) is prescribed, CD4 levels of HIV patients must be monitored every 6 months. The Union government is also planning to provide Anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy to 1,00,000 HIV patients by the end of 2007.

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