The report was released by Indian Council of Medical Research and National AIDS Control Organization on Wednesday
Chances of death were halved among HIV patients after five years of antiretroviral treatment
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NEW DELHI :
Chances of death were halved among HIV patients after five years of antiretroviral treatment(ART), revealed a report released by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) on Wednesday. ART, the multidrug treatment for HIV infection, is provided free to adults and children living with HIV across India by NACO.
The first report on the “Impact Evaluation of Antiretroviral Treatment, under the National AIDS Control Programme in India" was commissioned by NACO showed that ART treatment shows significant reduction in death and increased survival of HIV patients.
The study evaluated the impact of NACP’s ART programme on various parameters at 396 ART centres (ARTCs) across the country for the period 2012-2017.
This report presents the first national-level ART impact evaluation (ART-IE) of the government of India’s free ART programme under the National AIDS Control Programme, Dr Balram Bhargava; secretary, department of health research, and director general, ICMR said.
“The study demonstrated the high impact of antiretroviral treatment and showed that the chance of death was halved among people on ART after five years of treatment. The probability of tuberculosis was lower among persons on ART as compared to those not on ART," said Alok Saxena, additional secretary and director general, NACO.
The key findings also showed that cohorts of people who had initiated ART in 2012 and 2016 and continued taking treatment underwent viral load testing and over 90% showed that the virus in their blood was adequately suppressed.
The report said that over 70% of beneficiaries of ART reported ‘good’ or ‘very good’ quality of life overall and 82% were productively employed. The ART programme under NACP was found to be very cost-effective, the report further said.
This report provides programmatic directions to improve access to care and enhance prevention efforts. It helps guide research for future intervention needs, especially in emerging pockets of HIV infection in different parts of India.
This nationwide project was spearheaded by the ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute (ICMR-NARI) and was implemented through collaboration with five other Institutes of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR-National Institute of Epidemiology, ICMR-National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, ICMR-National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, ICMR- National Institute Of Medical Statistics, ICMR-National Institute for Research in Environmental Health) and the Institute of Economic Growth, New Delhi.
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