Saturday, November 25, 2006

AIDS in Punjab

I came across a story on Sikhnet that really caught my attention. I had to read it over twice to make sure i was reading it correctly. The story was about a Punjabi man who was diagnosed with HIV about eight years ago. He had gone to a doctor who told him that his HIV test was positive. He was subsequently put on ARVs (anti-retroviral) drugs for his infection. The man had always questioned his results as, according to him, he had been faithful to his wife and could not understand how he got HIV.

The story then goes on to say how eight years after his "positive" test, he was retested and the results were "negative." Initially i thought that the virus was somehow cleared from his system but i then went onto read that the initial test was most likely incorrect, and he did not in fact have HIV. It was disheartening to read how the ARVs had already taken a toll on his body and his health was debiliated from years of taking the drugs.

It is understandable, then, to read the low numbers of HIV infections reported in Punjab. Something is amiss and tests are not being completed correctly. There needs to be attention focused on Counseling and Testing sites -- as this is where cases can be identified and treated. Numbers will always be in question until a public health infrastructure is built and abided by.

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