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Universal and routine access to quality assured HIV related laboratory services are made available through the activities of Laboratory Services Division. It is recognized that work related to laboratory services are not confined to HIV testing, but are overarching and have an impact on other interventions included under prevention, care, support and treatment, STI management, blood safety, procurement and supply chain management. Emphasis on quality assured laboratory service delivery is important to the success of NACP.
To ensure quality of HIV testing under the NACP, NACO has an External Quality Assessment Programme administered to all HIV testing laboratories. The HIV testing laboratories are arranged in a tiered manner with apex laboratory (NARI, Pune) at the very top, 1 National Reference Laboratory (NRL) at AIIMS and 2 State Reference Laboratories (SRLs) at Govt. Medical College Amritsar & Patiala and are involved in supervision of testing in all peripheral testing centres (ICTCs). There are 56 and 57 ICTC's covered under HIV-SRL Lab of Amritsar & Patiala respectively for External Quality Assessment Scheme. Two workshops are conducted yearly in which all the Lab Technicians of ICTC's are imparted training for HIV testing and good laboratory practices are reviewed. The NABL accreditation of both the labs is under process.
There are six ART Centres where CD4 machines are located: Amritsar, Patiala, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Pathankot, Bathinda.While Tarn Taran, Batala, Hoshiarpur, Moga, Ferozepur centres are linked to these six CD4 Centres. CD4 counts of PLHIVs are being updated in Inventory Management System(IMS) on daily basis by Lab technicians of ART Centre.
Major activities of Laboratory Services Division: