The HIV-testing initiative that was started in the month of December last year by One Rupee Clinic in Mankhurd railway station has further encouraged the Mumbai District Aids Control Society (MDACS), which proposed a plan to the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) to distribute HIV medicines through the clinics at various central line railway stations in the city.
If the proposal gets passed by NACO, HIV positive patients will be able to procure medicines from any of the 20 pharmacies attached with various One Rupee Clinics in the city.
“It is yet in the proposal stage. Once we get an approval for the project, we will plan to start distributing the medicines will the help of the One Rupee Clinics. Earlier, we have also tied up with them to start an HIV testing initiative at a railway station (sic),” said Dr Shrikala Acharya, spokesperson and additional project director of MDACS.
Dr Rahul Ghule, founder of One Rupee Clinic, said, “If the project works out, we will be given a list of HIV-positive patients to whom the medicines need to be distributed. Our pharmacies will be a health center for them to take away their medicines rather than traveling to health centers.”
In the pilot project at Mankhurd, 19 patients were tested for HIV at within two months. All were tested negative. “We will soon start the HIV testing initiative at our Sion’s One Rupee Clinic too and slowly extend it to other stations,” added Dr Ghule.