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Punjab State AIDS Control Society (PSACS) was registered in 1998 for implementing National AIDS Control Programme (NACP). NACP is a 100% centrally sponsored project. PSACS started functioning in 1999. Principal Secretary Health is the Chairman of the Society whereas Secretary Health has been designated as Project Director of the society. Additional Project Director is the technical head assisted by Joint Directors, Deputy Directors, Assistant Directors, other officers and supporting staff.
Under NACP II the use of society model for state level implementation was institutionalized, and State AIDS Control Societies (SACS) were registered for effective programme management.
Component 1: Intensifying and Consolidating Prevention services with a focus on HRG and vulnerable populations
This component will support the scaling up of TIs with the aim of reaching out to the hard to reach population groups who do not yet access and use the prevention services of the program, and saturate coverage among the HRGs. In addition, this component will support the bridge population, i.e. migrants and truckers. Component 1 includes the following two subcomponents:
1.1 Scaling up coverage of TIs among HRG
The interventions under this sub-component will include: (i) the provision of behavior change interventions to increase safe practices, testing and counseling, and adherence to treatment, and demand for other services;(ii) the promotion and provision of condoms to HRG to promote their use in each sexual encounter; (iii) provision or referral for STI services including counseling at service provision centers to increase compliance of patients with treatment, risk reduction counseling with focus on partner referral and management; (iv) needle and syringe exchange for IDUs as well as scaling up of Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST) provision. This sub-component also includes the financing of operating costs for about 25 State Training Resource Centers as well as participant training costs over a period of 5 years.
1.2 Scaling up of interventions among other vulnerable populations
The activities under this subcomponent will include: (i) risk assessment and size estimation of migrant population groups and truckers at transit points and at workplaces; (ii) behavior change communications (BCC) for creating awareness about risk and vulnerability, prevention methods, availability and location of services, increase safe behavior and demand for services as well as reduce stigma;(iii) promotion and provisioning of condoms through different channels including social marketing; (iv) development of linkages with local institutions, both public and NGO owned, for testing, counseling and STI treatment services;(v) creation of “peer support groups” and “safe spaces” for migrants at destination; (vi) establishment of need-based and gender-sensitive services for partners of IDUs; and(vii) strengthening networks of vulnerable populations with enhanced linkages to service centers and risk reduction interventions, specifically condom use.
Component 2: Expanding IEC services for (a) general population and (b) high risk groups with a focus on behavior change and demand generation
IEC has been an important component of the NACP. With the expansion of services for counseling and testing, ART, STI treatment and condom promotion, the demand generation campaigns will continue to be the focus of the NACP-IV communication strategy. IEC will remain an important component of all prevention efforts and will include:
Component 3: Increasing access and promoting Comprehensive Care, Support and Treatment
NACP IV will implement comprehensive HIV care for all those who are in need of such services and facilitate additional support systems for women and children affected and infected with HIV / AIDS. It is envisaged that greater adherence and compliance would be possible with wide network of treatment facilities and collaborative support from PLHIV and civil society groups. Additional Centers of Excellence (CoEs) and upgraded ART Plus centers will be established to provide high-quality treatment and follow-up services, positive prevention and better linkages with health care providers in the periphery.
With increasing maturity of the epidemic, it is very likely that there will be greater demand for 2nd line ART, OI management. NACP IV will address these needs adequately. It is proposed that the comprehensive care, support and treatment of HIV/AIDS will inter alia include: (i) anti-retroviral treatment (ART) including second line (ii) management of opportunistic infections and (iii) facilitating social protection through linkages with concerned Departments/Ministries. The program will explore avenues of public-private partnerships. The program will enhance activities to reduce stigma and discrimination at all levels particularly at health care settings.
Component 4: Strengthening institutional capacities
The objective of NACP IV will be to consolidate the trend of reversal of the epidemic seen at the national level to all the key districts in India. Programme planning and management responsibilities will be strengthened at state and district levels to ensure high quality, timely and effective implementation of field level activities and desired programmatic outcomes.
The planning processes and systems will be further strengthened to ensure that the annual action plans are based on evidence, local priorities and in alignment with NACP IV objectives. Sustaining the epidemic response through increased collaboration and convergence, where feasible, with other departments will be given a high priority during NACP IV. This will involve phased integration of the HIV services with the routine public sector health delivery systems, streamlining the supply chain mechanisms and quality control mechanisms and building capacities of governmental and non-governmental institutions and networks.
Component 5: Strategic Information Management Systems (SIMS)
The roll-out of SIMS is ongoing and will be firmly established at all levels to support evidence based planning, program monitoring and measuring of programmatic impacts. The surveillance system will be further strengthened with focus on tracking the epidemic, incidence analysis, identifying pockets of infection and estimating the burden of infection. Research priorities will also be customized to the emerging needs of the program. NACP IV will also document, manage and disseminate evidence and effective utilization of programmatic and research data. The relevant, measurable and verifiable indicators will be identified and used appropriately.