Communicable and Non-communicable diseases – HIV, Malaria, Cancer, Mental Health, etc.

Free viral load testing for all PLHIV


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Viral load test, HIV-AIDS, ART

Mains level: Growing incidences of HIV in country and measures to prevent it

Viral load testing for all HIV patients

  1. The Health Ministry has launched ‘Viral load testing for all People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV)’
  2. India is home to the world’s third largest HIV population, with 25 lakh patients
  3. Out of these, only 12 lakh of the diagnosed HIV patients are on treatment

Services provided from ART centers

  1. These patients are availing the benefit of free treatment from ART (Antiretroviral Therapy) centers


Viral load test

  1. Viral load tests measure the amount of HIV’s genetic material in a blood sample
  2. Viral load assays measure HIV genetic material called RNA from virus particles called virions in the blood plasma
  3. Results are reported as the number of copies of HIV RNA per milliliter of blood
  4. The three most commonly used assays for measuring viral load are: HIV-1 RNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR); Branched-chain DNA (bDNA); Nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA)
  5. Viral load kits are used to determine the severity of an infection before deciding on the treatment regimen that is appropriate for HIV patients

ART (Antiretroviral Therapy)

  1. ART are medications that treat HIV
  2. The drugs do not kill or cure the virus
  3. When taken in combination they can prevent the growth of the virus
  4. When the virus is slowed down, so is HIV disease
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments