‘There are more than 1 lakh HIV-positive patients in India’

Published: Monday, Nov 21, 2011, 17:57 IST
By Bhagyashree Kulthe | Place: Pune | Agency: DNA

Considering the increasing number of HIV-positive cases, it is important that the general practitioners enhance their knowledge and prepare themselves to help detect the disease and treat the affected.

With this objective in view, the General Practitioners’ Association (GPA) in Pune held a workshop to train the physicians on November 20. It was one of the pre-conference workshops planned by GPA before the GPCON 2011 – conference for general practitioners to be held in December. The workshop aimed at informing the doctors about HIV medicine and treatment. GPA president, Dr Prakash Mahajan, shared the details with DNA.

How important is the role of general practitioners in detecting HIV-positive people?
There are more than 1 lakh HIV-positive people in the country and they are unaware of their status. They go on taking treatment for general health problems from physicians, not recognising the fact that these are actually the symptoms of HIV. If a physician recognises these symptoms and advises the patient to go for a test, it may be detected early. Family doctors can play a vital role in diagnosing those who are infected with the disease and give them timely treatment. Hence, we organised this workshop.

When there are experts to handle HIV cases, how can general practitioners help?
While the number of HIV-positive cases is increasing, the experts are still limited. So a physician needs to enhance his/her knowledge and upgrade the skill-set. Even after visiting the experts, a patient needs to be cared for and treated from time to time for related health problems.

If the physicians are aware of the treatment, they can help their regular patients who are HIV-positive. For this, physicians need to be trained. There are about 33 medicines available in the market for HIV and with the help of advanced research, this disease can be tackled effectively unlike previously.

What topics were covered during the workshop?
This was a pre-event before the GPA conference, which will be held on December 3 and 4. About 1,000 practitioners from Pune district attended the event. Topics like 30 years into HIV epidemic, treatment of HIV, legal, social and ethical issues related to the disease and how can general practitioners help to remove the stigma surrounding HIV were covered.

HIV specialists Dr Sanjay Pujari, Dr Raman Gangakhedkar and
Dr Shrikanth Tripathy addressed the workshop. This was an eye-opener for many doctors, who would now use their enhanced knowledge to help society at large.

Source : DNA (Daily News & Analysis)



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