CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (TANSACS) will revive 34 drop-in centres (DICs) for people living with HIV (PLHIV) in 32 districts across the State. Of them, three centres will be in Chennai.
The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) stopped funding for the project in 2013, after which the centres were shut down. Now, following requests from people of HIV positive network, the society decided to revive these centres. After the approval from the Health Department, TANSACS will inaugurate the centres that have been fully funded by the State Government.
The DICs will provide counselling, psychosocial support and will organise support group meetings. The centre will also link PLHIV with care and support service providers, with government schemes and assist them in coping with issues.
They also help them obtain services from the State and private institutions. Speaking to Express, TANSACS Project Director, Deepak Jacob said, “Necessary funds have been sanctioned. The works are already in progress and we are waiting for formal inauguration by the health minister, probably on World AIDS Day.” “The centre will be run by HIV positive network people who in turn gives service to PLHIV.
They will provide psychosocial support, help them in availing social security schemes and other entitlement,” said Deepak Jacob. Meanwhile, P Kousalya, president, Positive Women Network said, “These centres were abruptly closed after NACO stopped funding.
Thereafter, PLHIVs didn’t know whom to approach for help. Now, they can walk into these centres for any issues and we thank the government for that.” The Government Order (G.O.) in this regard was passed in February, which said DICs shall be located nearby Government Medical College Hospitals, Headquarters Hospital and ART Centre. The DICs will have one project co-ordinator, peer counsellor, two outreach workers-cum-field staff and a part-time accountant.