Goa AIDS patients get SMS alert

PTI, PANAJI | 18 May 2013 14:59 IST

HIV-affected people in Goa are now getting SMS alerts on their mobile phones reminding them about the next dose of anti-retroviral therapy (ART).

This novel scheme has been launched by Goa State AIDS Control Society (GSACS), a Government body, for the People Living With HIV (PLHIV), a national network of persons affected by the disease.

GSACS has launched SMS alert service for the PLHIVs in the state, wherein they are informed in advance about their due date of next dose, officials said.

Terming it as a "wake up call", they said the idea is to ensure the patients don't miss regular treatment, which is vital to arrest further spread of the deadly infection.

But the real challenge is to maintain the mobile numbers of the PLHIV, who have been found to be often changing their SIM cards, they said.H


"The messages sent to them are soft ones. Like "please come for testing" or "please come for medical check-up," the officials said, adding the alerts do not directly mention anything about HIV infection.

The ART treatment, which involves administering multiple drugs, is given at state-run Goa Medical College (GMC) near here.

According to WHO, standard ART consists of the combination of at least three anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs to suppress the HIV virus and stop the progression of HIV disease.

Huge reductions have been seen in rates of death and suffering when use is made of a potent ARV regimen, particularly in early stages of the disease.

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Prevention is better than cure.

It is good that all efforts are being made to help the AIDs patients take the medicines regularly and come for medical check up but the best is educating people specially young persons how to avoid contracting this deadly disease.

Education on prevention should get maximum priority so that people, specially the youngsters, to do contract HIV/AIDS.

- Francisco, Goa | 18 th May 2013 16:17


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