With the progressive spread of the HIV epidemic in India, the need for HIV clinical services is increasing. Currently, there are 181 Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Centres and 4817 Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres. A total of 102,203 new HIV positive adults and 6,844 HIV positive children have been put on ART, taking the total number of HIV positive people currently on ART to 188,118. According to NACO estimates, 10.55 million HIV tests were conducted, 4.74 million pregnant women were tested and over 10,000 HIV positive mothers were provided with prophylactic treatment. 5,100 new Condom Vending Machines have been installed, taking the total number to 16,125. 797 million condoms were socially marketed and Voluntary blood donation increased from 56.4% in July 2007 to 59.1% in November, 2008. (www.nacoonline.org., Dec 2008)
To address this need, a group of trained health professionals equipped to take care of HIV patients is required. However for most practising doctors today, HIV medicine was not a part of the curriculum at the time of their training. Also, knowledge and practices in this field are steadily changing requiring constant updating. Currently there are very few training programmes suited to the needs of practising doctors for upgrading their knowledge and skills in HIV care.
This one year Fellowship in HIV Medicine at Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) and Associated Hospitals, New Delhi is the response to address these deficiencies. Keeping in mind the time constraints of practising doctors, this course consists of distance education, projects at the candidates’ organisation and 6 weeks of contact at the center, in four short parts. Our approach is to select doctors who are already interested and involved in HIV care, upgrade their knowledge and skills in this field and to work with them to improve the capacity of their hospitals to care for HIV affected patients.
MAMC and Associated hospitals have been engaged in HIV/AIDS care since 1989. The institution has been conducting training courses in HIV/AIDS since 1992. MAMC has been a Regional Center for Counselling in HIV /AIDS. The institution is providing outdoor, indoor and counselling services including laboratory support for HIV and opportunistic infections. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) clinic was established at L.N hospital, MAMC on First April 2004 under 3 by 5 initiative and over 2000 patients have been enrolled for ART. The institution imparts HIV/AIDS training in undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The institution has been recognized as training centre for Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART). The Microbiology department is a regional sentinel surveillance center for HIV/AIDS. The institution is also a training centre for standardized guidelines of RTIs/ STIs. The institution has been involved in conducting community based and hospital based research for HIV/AIDS and STDs in collaboration with NACO, WHO, UNFPA, Population Council etc. Many postgraduate and Ph.D students are undertaking research work in the area of HIV/AIDS.
Scope of the Training Course
To enable the participants to improve their knowledge and skills in HIV care
To enable the participants to have practical development of an accessible and high quality HIV clinical services in their own health care setting.
To provide the participants with better future opportunities in HIV care.
By a judicious combination of contact programmes, distance courses and project work, the course is designed to allow participants to continue their regular work and learn within the context of their own practice. Detailed work plans will be designed for each participant, according to his or her own time constraints and work schedules. The faculty will guide and support the participants through regular e-mail and telephonic contact. Learning resources for the project will be provided as part of the training.
The Objectives of the Training Course
(i) To improve the health care of HIV individuals and those suffering from Opportunistic Infections
(ii) To enhance the skills of health care workers in HIV care
(iii) To strengthen the skills of candidates to deal with special groups viz., IDUs, MSMs, Transgenders etc.,
(iv) To make the participants well versed with Objectives of NACP III .