Program in India Aims To Implement HIV/AIDS Services in Private Maternity Hospitals
India's Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society is launching a campaign that will focus on providing a comprehensive package of HIV/AIDS services to private maternity hospitals in the state in an effort to match services provided at government-run maternity hospitals, The Hindu reports. Such services include counseling, treatment, the prevention of mother-to-child transmission and managing HIV/TB coinfection. A "key requirement" of the program is "to make counseling an integral feature of HIV testing," according to Supriya Sahu, project director of TANSACS.
Private maternity hospitals account for about 38% of the more than 1.1 million deliveries recorded annually in Tamil Nadu, while state-run maternity hospitals account for about 60% of deliveries, according to The Hindu. Under the campaign, TANSACS will provide participating hospitals with training, assistance in developing HIV/AIDS treatment capacity, rapid test kits and informational resources. Participating hospitals will be required to implement the package of services and report to TANSACS. In addition, hospitals will be encouraged to participate in the program under an incentive-based component that provides accreditation. As part of an effort to map private maternity hospitals in the state that conduct at least 50 deliveries monthly, TANSACS has measured 1,400 hospitals against specific parameters, such as quality of basic services, pre-test HIV counseling, services offered when a pregnant woman tests positive and interventions to prevent MTCT (Varma, The Hindu, 10/8).