Mumbai News: NACO Seeks HIV & Syphilis Positive Samples From Blood Banks For Eradication Plan

Mumbai News: NACO Seeks HIV & Syphilis Positive Samples From Blood Banks For Eradication Plan

The move is part of the National AIDS and STD Control Programme (NACP) Phase V (2021-26), which is committed towards elimination of vertical transmission of HIV and syphilis by 2025.

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Wednesday, January 17, 2024, 08:54 AM IST
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NACO | File Pic

Mumbai: The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) has issued a circular instructing all blood banks to send syphilis positive and HIV-syphilis positive blood bags to ICMR-NARI (National AIDS Research Institute) in Pune at temperatures between two and eight degrees. The expenses for transportation of such blood bags will be paid by NARI upon delivery at the institute.

The move is part of the National AIDS and STD (sexually transmitted diseases) Control Programme (NACP) Phase V (2021-26), which is committed towards elimination of vertical transmission of HIV and syphilis by 2025.

Circular issued by NACO to blood banks

As per the circular, dual HIV/syphilis rapid diagnostic kits will be used as the first test for screening of pregnant women during antenatal care and for vulnerable populations at health facilities in peripheral locations.

These test kits detect antibodies to both the pathogen for syphilis and HlV. However, before these kits are put to use, it is imperative that they are evaluated for sensitivity and specificity for which panels need to be developed., for which collection of positive samples is needed.

However, the blood banks have raised queries and said that the details about packaging and transportation are not clear and NACO has not answered their questions. “Not only government blood banks, but private blood banks can also be part of this eradication programme,” said an official.

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