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About (Link Anti-Retroviral Centre)

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The ART roll out is being presently done through ART centres which are located mainly in Medical Colleges, Tertiary Hospitals and District Hospitals in some states. As a result, many a times, patients from periphery have to travel long distances to reach the ART centre. Since ART is a life-long treatment and drugs are provided once a month, it means the patient has to come to ART centre every month for rest of his life, even when he is stable on treatment. This may lead to missing of visits, particularly when patient is traveling or is otherwise feeling healthy.

The monthly visits may also entail the patient‟s stay in the city leading to escalation of costs in addition to travel cost. At the same time, monthly visits lead to rush at ART centres, leading to long waiting hours and inconvenience to patients. All these factors have been perceived as potential barriers to an optimal adherence to ART. To minimize the travel need and related cost to the patients stable on ART, the Scheme of Link ART Centres was introduced in 2008. These centres act mainly as the drug dispensing units and are located in ICTC settings at district/sub- district hospitals /CHCs near the patient‟s residence and are linked to a Nodal ART Centre.

Objectives of Link ART Centres Scheme

  • To reduce the travel cost and travel time in accessing ART services
  • To increase the access to HIV care for the PLHIV.
  • To improve the drug adherence of patients on ART
  • To bridge the gap between counseling & testing services and Care, Support & Treatment services.
  • . To integrate HIV Care, Support & Treatment services with the Primary / Secondary Health Care system (NRHM).
  • To build the capacity of the health care providers at the Primary/secondary Health Care Level for Care, Support and Treatment services for sustainability of services. (Integration with NRHM).