Nagaland Gets Its First HIV-1 C Viral Load Laboratory - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland gets its first HIV-1 C viral load laboratory

By Thejoto Nienu Updated: Jun 26, 2023 10:11 pm

As of today, Nagaland has approx 12,290 PLHIV who are on treatment and many more are unreached and untested

Y Kikheto Sema, Dr. Vibeituonuo M Sachu, Dr. Akuo Sorhie and others during the inauguration of the laboratory at NHAK on Monday. (EM Images)

KOHIMA— In what will enhance HIV care and treatment in Nagaland state, an HIV-1 C viral load laboratory has been set up at the Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK). It is the first such lab in the state.

Commissioner and Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, Y Kikheto Sema, who is also the Chairman of Nagaland State Aids Control Society (NSACS), on Monday, inaugurated the laboratory at the Nagaland Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (NIMSR) Teaching Hospital, which is currently housed at the NHAK.

Speaking at the event, Sema said that India, a signatory to UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.3, is committed to ending AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030 and that the HIV-1 C viral load laboratory in Kohima will ensure better treatment and care for people living with HIV (PLHIV).

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‘As of today, Nagaland has approx 12,290 PLHIV who are on treatment and many more are unreached and untested. Nagaland has the second highest number of HIV positives in the country and the highest Antenatal Care in India, which is a huge challenge,’ he said.

He said that it is mandatory for PLHIVs to take viral load test at least once a year as it will help doctors give correct treatment based on the result.

Citing the immense challenge the state faced while transporting blood samples to places like Mumbai and RIMS in Imphal for such tests during the COVID pandemic, he said it was the burning desire of the state to have its own viral load testing machine. The urgency for having a lab arose as samples couldn’t be sent to Imphal for the past two months due to the current law and order situation in Manipur, he added.

Informed that the facility will be opened on all working days, he expressed hope that it will be able to handle the viral load testing for the entire state.

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The official went on to congratulate the NSACS team for taking all necessary measures, while acknowledging the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) headed by V Hekali Zhimomi, Additional Secretary and Director General of NACO, for providing the viral load machine to the state.

Several officials, including Principal Director of Health department Dr. Vibeituonuo M Sachu, Director of Medical Education Dr. Akuo Sorhie and Managing Director of NHAK Dr. Sentimeren spoke during the event.

Also read: NMC team inspect NHAK, NIMSR as Nagaland seeks to make its first medical college operational

By Thejoto Nienu Updated: Jun 26, 2023 10:11:31 pm
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