AIDS diagnostic machine remains non-functional

Berhampur: While the country is observing the World AIDS Day today, treatment of hundreds of HIV positive people in Ganjam district remained hit as the CD-4 machine, installed at MKCG Medical College and Hospital here remained non-functional.

The high-cost machine was not functioning as there was no technician available to operate it, head of the department of the microbiology department Preetilata Panda said.

The technician who was appointed to operate the machine on contractual basis resigned mid-October, she said.

We cannot administer the drugs to the new patients without analysis the CD-4 counts, said a senior medical officer in ART centre here. The drugs are administered to the patients as per the status ofCD-4count in their body system at the anti retro-viral treatment (ART) center, which is functioning at the medical college here.

Around 2000 HIV positive patients from Ganjam and its neighboring districts like Gajapati and Kandhamal are waiting for the CD-4 count, while several under-treatment patients are in the line to know their status.

Most of them are from Ganjam district, which accounted 37.7 percent of the total HIV positive persons in the state.

As many as 10,103 persons tested HIV positive in the district by end of October. The number of HIV positive in the state by the same period was 26,763, sources said.

Medical college authorities said a technician would be appointed soon to operate the machine.

Meanwhile medical college authorities requested the National AIDS Control Society (NACCO) to replace the machinewith a modern one. TheCD-4machinewas installed by NACCO in the medical college in 2008.