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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 for 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 centers (ICTCs). There are 56 and 58 ICTC's covered under HIV-SRL Lab of Amritsar & Patiala respectively for External Quality Assessment Scheme. Two workshops are conducted annually in which all the Lab Technicians of ICTC's are imparted training for HIV testing and good laboratory practices are reviewed. SRL GMC Amritsar is NABL accreditated and the NABL accreditation of SRL GMC Patiala is under process.
There are ten ART Centers where CD4 machines are located: Amritsar, Patiala, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Pathankot, Bathinda, Moga, Hoshiarpur, Ferozepur, Tarn Taran. While Batala, Ropar and Faridkot are linked to Amritsar, PGI Chandigarh and Ferozepur reapectively. 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: