Alternative HIV test: HC issues notice to state govt,NACO

The Gujarat High Court on Thursday sought replies from the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) and the state government on a public interest litigation which seeks a change in the standard testing method for detection of HIV virus prior to blood transfusion.

Written by Press Trust Of India | Ahmedabad | Published: July 13, 2012 6:14 am

The Gujarat High Court on Thursday sought replies from the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) and the state government on a public interest litigation which seeks a change in the standard testing method for detection of HIV virus prior to blood transfusion.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala issued the notices on the PIL filed by Babulal Thakkar,seeking replies by August 9,the next date of hearing.

At present,the standard method for detecting HIV in India is ‘Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)’ test or the antibody test,says the PIL,adding this test has a window period of three months — an infection acquired in the previous three months cannot be detected.

ELISA can be replaced by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test where there is no widow period,says Thakkar.

“In India,in standard HIV testing the PCR test is not included for reasons best known to the governments both state and Centre,” the PIL says. It adds that in 2006,NACO had announced that India was the first country in Asia to have introduced PCR.

Yet,PCR is not made mandatory at the blood banks and hospitals,it says,demanding that the authorities make it mandatory.

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