Recently in Rajasthan, RSACS (Rajasthan State Aids Control Society) and Rajasthan prisons headquarters signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch HIV intervention in prisons of Rajasthan. Now this is a very crucial step towards reducing the prevalence of HIV in the state. In many parts of India, civil society organizations have been fighting tooth and nail with their respective governments to have better health facilities, especially for pregnant & lactating women, HIV positive people and people with tuberculosis. Rajasthan is one of the first states to launch this agreement.
HIV and Prisons
An NGO SAATHI has been instrumental in bringing about this change. Various studies by the United Nations have stated that the prevalence of HIV is much higher in prisons than the general population. Rajasthan has total 127 prisons and other closed settings, including 10 central jails, three reformatories, 25 district jails, 60 sub-jails and 29 open camps. The capacity of these prisons is 32,327 and current occupancy is 32,787. Rajasthan at present has 66,000 people identified as HIV positive and are undergoing treatment. AIDS prevalence rate at the national level is 0.27%, while in Rajasthan it is 0.17%, which is less than the national level. (Hindustan Times, 20th February, 2018). Though the rate is lesser than that of India, its prevalence cannot be ignored. The government has taken various measures to identify and provide treatment to PLHIV.
Therapy Centres, ART Centres, Care Support Centres
In order to provide care, support and treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS are getting benefited through 23 Anti Retroviral Therapy centers, 25 Link ART centers and 16 Care Support Centers. The free ART initiative was launched from October 2005 in Rajasthan. The main objectives of these centres are:
- To provide prolong life and improve the quality of life among PLHIVs through CST services.
- To Reducing the viral load in AIDS patients by taking ART regularly.
- To Reduce HIV transmission by positive prevention concept.
- To improve the HIV-TB coordination for early management of HIV-TB co-infection.
- To provide care and support through counseling and care support centers.
- Management of opportunistic infection & availability of sufficient O I drugs.
- Post exposure prophylaxis for health care personnel working with PLHIVs.
- Early infant diagnosis to reduce chances of spread the HIV infection in baby.
- Reduce stigma and discrimination related with PLHIVs among Health Care Personnel as well as society level.
Following are the services available at these ART centers are free of cost:-
- CD-4 Test
- ARV Drugs
- O.I Drugs
- Knowledge of Social beneficial Scheme
- IEC Material
- Knowledge about network people
- Referral to Care Support Centre & other related units
These are the Anti Retroviral Therapy Centres across the state as per RSACS:-
Though the government has taken various steps to ensure that PLHIC have access to various ART centres and get treatment but the situation remains grim for pregnant women who are HIV positive. Many newspapers have reported in the past decade how the doctors do not cases of pregnant women who are HIV positive despite the strict guidelines by the Medical Council of India and the Government to not devoid any pregnant women of the delivery services. There are safety measures that can be easily taken by the doctors and nurses while delivering a child of an HIV positive woman. The recent budget announcement in Rajasthan did not talk much about health. HIV was not mentioned at all. A better monitoring mechanism is required for all these centres to function effectively and regular counselling and training of doctors and all the health service providers must be mandatory. We need more sensitized doctors at the health facilities, especially government health facilities because getting treatment from private hospitals is an expensive affair. There is a dire need to reduce the out of pocket expenditure of people on health so that they do not get pushed under below poverty line as we all know that the second biggest reason for poverty in India is expenditure on health!
S.no. Name of ARTC/ FIARTC Address
1 SMS Medical College Jaipur Basement of Dhanwantari OPD, SMS Hospital, Jaipur Ph. 0141-2518630,2572290
2 Dr. S.N. Medical College, Jodhpur Infectious Disease centre, Kamla Nehru Chest & TB Hospital, Jodhpur – 342 002 Ph. 0291-2751161
3 S.P. Medical College, Bikaner Ground Floor, OPD Building, Near ANC Clinic, PBM Hospital, Bikaner – 334 003 Ph. 0151-2201119
4 R.N.T. Medical College, Udaipur MB Hospital, Opp. Trauma Ward, RNT Medical College, Udaipur Ph. 0294-2419403
5 Govt Medical College, Kota New Medical College, Hospital Kota, 0744-2471391
6 J.L.N. Medical College, Ajmer Near Orthopedic Ward, J.L.N. Hospital, Ajmer 0145-2633426
7 Govt. District Hospital, Alwar Govt. District Hospital, Alwar 0144-2346033, 2345087
8 S.K Hospital, Sikar S.K Hospital, Sikar 01572-251093, 271856
9 Mahatma Gandhi Hospital, Bhilwara Mahatma Gandhi Hospital, Bhilwara 01482-232641
10 Bangar Hospital, Pali Bangar Hospital, Pali 02932-226059
11 Govt. District Hospital, Barmer Govt. District Hospital, Barmer 02982-230369,230041
12 Govt. District Hospital, Jalore Govt. District Hospital, Jalore 02973-225090
13 J.L.N Hospital, Nagaur J.L.N Hospital, Nagaur Ph: 01582-244822
14 Hardev Joshi Govt. General Hospital, Dungarpur Hardev Joshi Govt. General Hospital, Dungarpur Fax No.02964-230203
15 RBM Hospital Bharatpur RBM Hospital Bharatpur. Ph: 05644-220054
16 BDK Hospital Jhunjhunu BDK Hospital Jhunjhunu. Ph: 01592-235025
17 Civil Hospital, SriGanganagar Main OPD, Civil Hospital, SriGanganagar. Ph: 0154-2970507
18 Govt. District Hospital, Sirohi Govt. District Hospital, Sirohi. Ph: 02972-220065
19 MG Hospital, Banswara MG Hospital, Banswara. Ph: 02962-248283
20 Sawaliyaji Govt. District Hospital, Chittorgarh Sawaliyaji Govt. District Hospital, Chittorgarh. Ph: 01472-241744
21 RK Govt. District Hospital, Rajsamand RK Govt. District Hospital, Rajsamand. Ph: 0295-2222885
22 DB General Hospital, Churu DB General Hospital, Churu.
23 Govt. District Hospital, Hanumangarh Govt. District Hospital, Hanumangarh.
Following are some useful important links for people who are seeking more information on HIV in Rajasthan:-
- NGOs working with RSACS across Rajasthan
- Rajasthan State Aids Society
- Positive Women Network
- SAATHI – Solidarity and Action Against HIV Infection in India
Article by : Tushita Mukherjee
Tushita is a dreamer. Outer space and astrophysics attract her a lot. She loves both machines and trees. She is currently working with an NGO. In her free time, she likes to read books and sing. She is particularly fond of Rock and Hindustani Classical music. Clicking pictures of people is something she is exploring these days.