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National focus: HIV- HCV Quit India Movement. Local Strategy: HIV Bhagao Bihar Bachao Campaign BackgrounderEvent: Doctors & Media Interaction WorkshopIssue: Hiv – Window period – complications, possible solutions and benefits of early detectionDate: 16 August 2009Venue: Hotel Maurya, PatnaTiming: Registration formalities 10.30 am. Workshop proceedings 11-2 pm, followed by lunchand informal interactions.Attractive Add-ons: • Certificate of participation for attendance • Lucky draw for those who walk in on time and stay till the end of the Workshop • Award for excellent grassroots level work as HIV warrior/ fighter • Experts from the field, Celebrities and well known personalities may also be roped in to add magnetic attraction and draw footfalls on the Workshop venue. • Thought provoking and relevant issues will be discussed • Emphasis on interactive session, individual involvement, relationship building and future thought leader sensitization. • Live Webcast and interactive question-answer session with experts in USA & IsraelKey Opinion Leaders : • Dr. Tamar Jehuda-Cohen (Israel) – an internationally renowned expert in the field of immunology, diagnostics, HIV/AIDS and inventor of Stimmunology technology. Armed with a Ph.D in Immunology from the Technion Medical school, Haifa Israel, Dr Tamar conducted her post doctoral research at Emory University in Atlanta, home of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, USA. Dr. Jehuda-Cohen is a lecturer at the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology in the faculty of Biomedical Engineering. She has worked in both North America and Israel and in collaboration throughout the world. She is the inventor of over 10 patents, an author of over 30 publications (full length scientific papers), and over 100 abstracts, many of them as presentations in international conferences. Dr Tamar also serves as a consultant for the Family Health Initiative (FHI), funded by the UNAIDS • Dr Narendra K Gupta, (USA) – recently nominated for the Lifetime Achievement in Medicare Award 2009 (next month at the 61st Indian Achiever Awards in Mumbai on 9th Aug 2009) recipient of America’s Top Physician— 2007 Award and recognized by the American Diabetes Association and National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA) as
a provider with distinction for outstanding Diabetes care continuously since 1991. Dr Gupta is the President – Society for Medicare as well as Medical Director & CEO, Diabetes & Hypertension Center, Duluth, GA, USA. Dr Gupta was recently elected as one of the 100 physicians in USA to join the Vascular Biology Group at the University of Florida and has been principal investigator for multiple Trials on Diabetes, Hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. • Dr. Devendra Prasad: Dr. Devendra Prasad ia a renowned expert on HIV. Presently, he is working as Joint Director with Bihar State AIDS Control Society (BSACS) • Dr Geetanjali Kumari: Dr. Geetanjali Kumari is the regional coordinator of NACO and is presently looking after Bihar, Jharkhand, UP and Uttaranchal • Dr. Gopal Prasad: specialises in Sexually Transmitted Diseases . He is presently working as Deputy Director (STD) with Bihar State AIDS Control Society (BSACS) • Dr J S Arora,General Secretary, National Thalassemia Welfare Society • Dr Diwakar Tejasvi, HIV Expert & Director, Regional AIDS Training Center and Network In India (RATNEI) • Dr. Anjana Singh, Director, Central Diagnostics, Patna • Other well-known HIV experts may also be involvedHIV AND HCV – WHY SHOULD INDIA UNITE TO MAKE THEM QUIT INDIA : The issue really isthat INDIA cannot be left at mercy of HIV– HCV. It’s a deadly game which THE KILLER TWINSwant us to Lose…DANGER 1: 550,000 HIV patients have AIDS. Another 300,000/ year will develop AIDS over thenext 15-20 yearsDANGER 2: 600 new HIV infections in India every hour. Close to 21,000 children getting newlyinfected, 30,000 HIV+ve babies being born every yearDANGER 3: World Bank estimates India already has 2 million children – the largest number AIDSorphans in the world-- expected to double in next five years.DANGER 4: Deaths from HCV known as "silent killer” are expected to triple in the next 10-20years and surpass that of AIDS. More than a million such deaths by 2020.
DANGER 5: 18 million Indians — many of whom do not know they are infected with HCV -quarter of them may develop chronic liver disease in the next 10 to 15 years.Needed- HIV-HCV - Quit India Movement. Join HIV-HCV- Leave India Alone campaign.http://www.orkut.co.in/Community.aspx?cmm=60810798&mt=7MEDICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE WORKSHOP: It’s a world wide trend that many medicallyundiagnosed yet HIV infected people are walking the on streets blissfully unaware of theirHIV+ve status. They are like potential Human Time Bombs that can explode any momentcausing irreparable damage by infecting 100s of other innocent and unsuspecting peopleGiven the trend that only less than 1 % population of India get themselves tested for HIV-HCVeven once in the lifetime and worst still up to 27 % HIV infected people remain undiagnosed…the issue is whether India be left to the mercy of these killer twins- HIV & HCV?This is not a just medical but human rights issue related to the right to live and stay away fromany accidental HIV contamination.THE ISSUE IN PERSPECTIVE: Both HIV & HCV – are merciless killer twin viruses. They are likesmart, lethal and silent invaders – masters in the art of camouflage, deception and hiddencombat. Both these diseases do not differentiate or discriminate one person– and silently goabout crippling the defense mechanism – inside the human body. Rich or poor, young or old –people of any age, class or sex or social status – even healthcare professionals, defense,paramilitary or police forces, people in high risk categories – prostitutes, gays, drug addicts,pregnant women and new born babies as well as those in need of blood- in the aftermath of ansurgical operation, accident or injury, Hemophiliac and Thalassemia patients – every one is apotential target. Even Doctors, nurses and healthcare staff – particularly surgeons, OT staff,gynecologists, ENT specialists and dentists are prone to the infection through accidental needlepricks or contact with the infected blood – through accidental pricks or open wounds. Thus it isall the more important that every Indian – makes it as his mission to combat the killer twinswhich may eventually threaten the lives of their children and grand-children.WINDOW PERIOD COMPLICATIONS : If a person tests negative for HIV or HCV – it doesn’tmean that he/she is not infected. On the contrary he/she might be in the most contagious stageof the infection. Such a person could well infect as many as 50 -100 others before actuallytesting positive – months later. In case of both HIV and HCV--it could take weeks or up to 60-90days before any antibodies are detected in the blood. This is due to the “Window Period” or themost deceptive phase when even HIV – HCV infected people will be considered non-infectedsimply because they have not yet produced or developed detectable levels of antibodies intheir blood..
Despite advancement of technology, one problem with most aviation radars is that they cannotdetect low flying, light aircraft – likewise HIV/HCV antibody diagnostic tests can only detectantibodies produced against the infections… In case of a normal viral infection it takes 5-7 daysfor the antibodies to develop after the infection. However for HIV or HCV it could take weeks ormany months before any antibodies could be found in the blood. This is called the Windowperiod. This is one of the most complex problems faced by the medical community.The only reliable way to tell whether someone has HIV is through blood tests, which can detectthe infection. Most of the HIV –HCV detection tests available today detect the antibodies in theblood instead of the virus itself. In case of both HIV and HCV it can take weeks or months afterinfection before antibodies against are detected. This infected yet serum-negative period iscalled the “window period”-- or the most deceptive phase when even HIV – HCV infectedpeople will be considered non-infected simply because they have not yet produced ordeveloped detectable levels of antibodies in their blood.As long as there are no antibodies, these patients are diagnosed as non-infected. This is calledthe window period - the time between infection and the detection of antibodies. It is a majorcause for concern among the health authorities, professionals, blood banks, vaccine and drugdevelopers all over the world, as many infected individuals test negative for HIV or HCVantibodies, and are thus misdiagnosed. Shortening the window period actually holds the key tosaving millions of lives, billions of dollars, untold human resources, suffering, and deaths.WINDOW PERIOD- POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS : The only alternative before India which is alreadyhome to one of the highest number of HIV+ve and AIDS related orphans in the world – is todetect and segregate the carriers of the deadly killer twin diseases – HIV & HCV before its toolate. Eliminating false –ves may be the only way to realistically combat HIV-HCV menaceEarly and confirmed diagnosis of HIV/HCV – even before antibodies in the blood can be taken asevidence – may prove to be a turning point for better management of the infection besides U-turn towards damage control and possible recovery.BENEFITS OF EARLY DETECTION: Some of the known benefits of early detection include:• Early detection of HIV and HCV both can significantly lower healthcare costs by preventing high-risk practices and decreasing virus transmission.• Early diagnosis can reduce the risk of blood-borne infections among individuals who take drugs or engage in high-risk behaviors putting themselves and others at risk for contracting or transmitting hepatitis C (HCV), hepatitis B (HBV), tuberculosis (TB), as well as sexually transmitted diseases, like syphilis, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, and genital herpes• Early detection can prevent further transmission of HIV/HCV from mother to child
• IN CONCLUSION: besides helping in timely intervention and effective management of the HIV & HCV.Early detection is highly desirous from the following points of view:• NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL INTEREST– savings in economic and healthcare costsHIV +VE / HCV +VE INDIVIDUALS:• As a result of early detection, counseling and treatment can start early• Better chances of success in terms of treatment, better and more options• Lesser chances of side effects and complicationsOTHER INDIVIDUALS:• Lesser chances of unknowingly getting the infection from an infected person• Lesser chances of mother to child transmission• Lesser chances of acquiring the infections due to exposure to unsafe blood in hospitals andorgan transplantation centers• Safer blood transfusion• High Risk Categories: Early detection of disease in every HIV/HCV positive individual mayprevent further transmission of the diseases in at least 10 other• Injection Drug Abusers & Addicts• Hemophiliacs / Thalassemia patients• Blood Donors• Armed Forces & Para Military force personnel-who share barracks, razors etc• Female Sex workers and Men having sex with men The issue is how to attack and fight against these smart and lethal invaders –HIV & HCV who are masters in the art of camoflage, deception and hidden combat after silently crippling the defenders – inside the human body. Forum for Medical Ethics Society,0-18, ‘Bhavna’, Veer Savarkar KILLER TWINS-- HIV & HCV— cannot be won with the The war against THE Marg,Prabhadevi Mumbai tied 025 INDIA back… INDIA needs SMART WEAPONS. hands 400 behind the