Metropolis Healthcare Ltd was recently awarded the contract by National Aids Control Organization (NACO), Ministry of Health, and Government of India to conduct HIV viral load testing for patients across 525 antiretroviral therapy (ART) centres in the country, bringing about a sweeping change in treating HIV patients in the country. This initiative has begun from February 08.
Speaking on the alliance, Dr Naresh Goel, Deputy Director General, NACO said “February 08 is a historic day because together we have begun viral load testing as a routine test for the first time. We are extremely happy that Metropolis will be our partner to deliver this project.”
He added, “The NACO model has won credibility across the globe for its AIDS control program and for bringing down the prevalence. We have recorded a 67% dip in prevalence since 2000 and 54% dip in AIDS related death from HIV since 2007. The viral load testing is an important step in our goal of Eliminating AIDS by 2030.”
The NACO and Metropolis teams are geared up for the execution of the project. Kits used for testing will be US FDA Approved, IVD and CE approved to be provided by Roche.
Dr Sushil Shah, Founder – Chairman, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd said “It’s a moment of pride for us because Metropolis was the first laboratory to start HIV testing back in 1985 and we have been doing HIV viral load testing since 2005. We have a huge advantage in terms of quality and experience. We are confident that with this partnership, we will be able to make a positive impact in people living with HIV.”
What is HIV-1 viral load?
HIV viral load testing measures the amount of HIV genetic material (RNA) in the blood and reports how many copies of the virus are present. Evidence shows that keeping the viral load at undetectable levels decreases an infected person’s risk of progressing to AIDS and greatly improves long-term health.