Panaji: The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) has now decided to constitute a panel of experts for second line of treatment to patients within Goa, sparing them from travelling to Mumbai for it.
The people living with HIV (PLHIV) had to travel to JJ hospital in Mumbai to buy medicines prescribed under second line of treatment and for certification from the panel of expert doctors for the same.
Goa State AIDS Control Society (GSACS) officials said that since the last couple of months, the medicines for second line of treatment were being made available at Goa Medical College (GMC).
Also, a panel of five doctors from GSACS and GMC will be trained by NACO this month to certify the PLHIV for second line of treatment.
The PLHIV has to take second line of treatment after they develop drug resistance to the first line of anti retroviral treatment (ART), GSACS official said.
Until two months back, the medicines for the treatment were available at JJ Hospital in Mumbai. Also, the panel of doctors who certify the need for second line was based at the Mumbai hospital.
Out of total 1,740 patients receiving ART in Goa, there were 26 patients who were administered second line of treatment.
Various NGOs working for the care of PLHIV had expressed anguish over Goa government`s failure to provide the treatment in the state.
A GSACS official said that PLHIV have been offered various benefits by the state government, including 50 percent concession in state run bus service and also are eligible for monthly pension under Dayanand Social Security Scheme (DSS).