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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 264-269

Capacity building in HIV/AIDS care in antiretroviral therapy center through open and distance learning

Health Sciences, School of Health Sciences, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Biplab Jamatia
School of Health Sciences, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi - 110 068
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cjhr.cjhr_93_18

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The number of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in India is 26.26 lakhs (18.00–27.85 lakhs) as per annual report 2016–2017 of the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO). Till September 2016, 361 care and support centers were functional, and a total of 10,70,928 PLHIV received care and support services. There are 528 functional antiretroviral therapy (ART) centers and 1108 linked ART centers across the country including 88 ART plus centers till September 2016. About 2000 trained doctors would be needed to man these facilities. It is planned that MBBS doctors with Postgraduate (PG) Diploma in HIV Medicine (PGDHIVM) shall be considered for the post of senior medical officer at ART centers. The PGDHIVM would help to standardize HIV Medicine training and also help to bridge the gap in trained workforce for ART centers. With the above background, Indira Gandhi National Open University developed a 1-year program on HIV Medicine for MBBS doctors, which is being offered through open and distance learning in collaboration with NACO with the objectives that the learner would be able to imbibe comprehensive knowledge on basic of HIV as related to details of management of HIV/AIDS in tertiary care setup, manage all complications as well as opportunistic infections due to HIV/AIDS at time of need, and recognize and handle emergencies related to HIV/AIDS and its complication and take bedside decision for management whenever is required. This program comprises 36 credits (1 credit = 30 study hours), which is divided into four theory and two practical courses. All learners have been provided a total of 20 blocks having 76 units along with three practical logbooks as learning materials for this program. There are 28 days of hands-on skill training in medical colleges identified as the center of excellence by NACO and another 30-day training in an ART center. The program was launched in 2012, and 122 candidates have successfully completed it so far.

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