AIDS RESEARCH AND CONTROL (ARCON) CENTRE
In Grant Medical College and Sir J. J. Hospital, Mumbai.
ARCON is a technical organisation established in 1994 under the collab¬orative programme of the Government of Maharashtra and the University of Texas- Houston, USA. The primary objectives of ARCON are to promote interaction and collaboration in the areas of research, training, interventions and to develop academic, scientific, clinical and cultural relation¬ships. ARCON is managed by senior officials of Government of Maharashtra and the University of Texas.
ARCON has the following specific mandates:
1. To conduct medical and behavioural research
2. Training of health care workers
3. Develop replicable models for priority interventions.
4. Provide technical expertise to state of Maharashtra, to Government of India and international agencies.
CARE AND SUPPORT OF PERSONS WITH HIV / AIDS:
ARCON runs clinical and counselling service at Sir J. J. Hospital, both for patients of the hospital and patients referred from the community. Cost free diagnosis and treatment is provided for opportunistic infections by a multi-disciplinary team of specialist medical practitioners. Those requiring admission on the wards are referred to appropriate departments in the hospital. ARCON has network with NGO5 for community-based care.
A complete range of counselling services are provided by trained HIV I AIDS counsellors. It includes pre-test, post-test counselling, couple counselling, family counselling and long term supportive counselling.
ARCON TRAINING PROGRAMMES
ARCON provides training to individuals and organisations involved in the field of HIV I AIDS care, support and interventions.
Workshops and focussed training programmes on research methodology, clinical care, laboratory diagnosis of opportunistic infections, counselling and human sexuality have been held for doctors, health care professionals, psychologists and social workers. Over 40,000 health care workers have been trained in various areas of HIV I AIDS across the country. The resource persons at ARCON assist NGOs in developing focused intervention programmes for prevention and education.
CLINICAL GRAND ROUNDS :
ARCON conducts regular on-the-job information and knowledge exchange sessions every Tuesday at 11:30 am in form of clinical grand rounds. Health care professionals working in several government municipal, private and NGO-run hospitals get together to learn through case present¬ations and discussions.
ARCON has developed model intervention in form of HIV Voluntary Counselling and Testing Centres (VCTs).
There are 6 partnership VCTs run by NGOs like Rotary Clubs, Indian Medical Association and IADVL in several parts of Mumbai and Thane. These are run in technical collaboration with ARCON.
VCTs provide quality HIV testing services. Complete confidentiality and anonymity of the patient is maintained. Testing service is preceded by an appropriate pre-test counselling and supported by relevant post-test counselling. Counselling is provided at no-cost to the client. VCTs serve as an entry point for persons with HIV I AIDS I STD for further care, support and referral services.
ARCON, primarily a technical organisation, has special emphasis on research. Several research projects, both medical and behavioural have been commissioned. Important among them are natural history of HIV among adults and children, transmission studies (heterosexual and mother-baby), interaction between HIV and conventional Sexually Transmitted Infections, clinical spectrum in adults and children, spectrum of opportunistic infections with AIDS, monitoring of combination anti-retroviral and Ayurvedic drugs, models of care in hospitals and communities, and mortality studies. Findings of these studies have provided useful data for developing national strategies.
Behavioural research projects involve studying the impact of counselling and developing strategies to sustain sexual behaviour change of individuals over a period of time. ARCON has published 27 scientific papers in national and international journals, contributed chapters in local and international textbooks. and participated in over 30 international conferences.
TECHNICAL EXPERTISE :
ARCON works with governmental and non-governmental agencies in developing systems to replicate successful experiences related to HIV/AIDS.
ARCON provides technical assistance to National AIDS Control Organisation of Government of India, various state governments, UN and international agencies in implementing preventive and supportive programmes to strengthen the national response to HIV I AIDS.
MAHATMA GANDHI MISSION’S MEDICAL COLLEGE
KAMOTHE, NAVI MUMBAI.
1) Establishment of Department of Infectious Diseases:
A new concept was introduced at this medical college in 1993 with establishment of a department of Infectious Diseases and AIDS I STD Research Centre. The department is staffed with multidisciplinary team of specialists in Infectious Diseases, Dermatology I STD, Public Health, Immunology, Molecular Biology, Behavioural Sciences, and Researchers. Final year medical students undergo a month-long clinical posting in Infectious Diseases.
2) Clinical Services for patients with HIV I AIDS:
Outpatient and inpatient services are provided by q multidisciplinary team comprising of physicians, surgeons, gynecologists, pediatricians and counsellors. The team has been trained over the past 6 years.
3) AIDS Hospice for palliative care of terminally sick and homeless persons with
This facility with capacity of 30 admissions, is located in a separate wing ¬of MGM Medical College Hospital at Panvel Circle and has half admissions on nonpayment basis. To meet with the demand of middle class single persons, special rooms are also
available. The services include palliative medical care, counselling, nutritious meals, recreational facilities, spiritual counselling, once a week visit by a lawyer to deal with pending legal issues etc.
4) India’s best HIV I AIDS Diagnostic Laboratory:
A state-of-the-art laboratory for HIV I AIDS I STD has been set up at MGM Medical College. The tests performed on routine basis include HIV ELISA, Western blot, CD4 / CD8, PCR for +HIV-1, HIV-O, HIV-2, M.tuberculosis, viral load for HIV-1, and recently added, Molecular Biology Unit doing tissue - culture based resistance tests for over 15 antiretroviral drugs. The pride of this laboratory is stringent quality control and instant technology transfer from Texas. Tests are performed free of cost for research purposes. However, MGM Trust has permitted use of laboratory services on cost-reimbursement basis.
5) Research on HIVIAIDS and other Infectious Diseases:
Over the past six years, India’s best research publications; over 27 of them, have emerged in partnership with MGM Medical College.
6) Partnership with State AIDS Control Programme:
Several national, state and district level training workshops for policy makers, doctors, nurses, and technicans are conducted every year. Priority interventions for commercial sex workers, migrant workforce and truckers have been initiated to develop nationally replicable models.
MGM ARCON (MAHATMA GANDHI MISSION’S AIDS
RESEARCH AND CONTROL CENTRE) AURANGABAD.
MGM ARCON was established in August 1997 at MGM Medical College in Aurangabad. The objectives of the centre are:
1) CLINICAL CARE
a) OUTDOOR AND INDOOR MANAGEMENT OF PATIENTS
MGM ARCON runs Out Patient Department in MGM hospital. Patients requiring indoor treatment are also admitted at the hospital.
b) COUNSELLING CENTRE
A counselling centre at MGM Hospital is staffed with trained HIV I AIDS counsellors. This is the only counselling centre at present, in Marathwada region.
C) LABORATORY TESTING
MGM ARCON has a well equipped laboratory. It has trained biotechnologists who conduct HIV testing and investigations for opportunistic infections.
2) TRAINING PROGRAMMES
MGM ARCON arranges training programmes for medical health care workers eg. doctors, lab technicians, and counsellors. Training workshops and conferences are held quarterly. Regular academic sessions for staff and students are conducted.
MGM ARCON has developed an intervention project among slum dwellers at
Ajabnagar and Aurangabad.
4) TECHNICAL EXPERTISE
MGM ARCON provides technical expertise to local bodies like municipal corporations, ESIS and civic hospitals. It provides technical help to projects in several districts of Marathwada.
MGM ARCON has special emphasis on resea¬rch. HIV, TB & other opportunistic infections are topics of active research.
ARCON CENTRE, RAJIV GANDHI MEDICAL COLLEGE
ARCON Centre at Rajiv Gandhi Medical College and Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital was established in December 1997 in collaboration with Thane Municipal Corporation and Rotary Club. The following activities are carried out:
1) VOLUNTARY COUNSELLING AND TESTING CENTRE:
It provides services in form of HIV voluntary counselling and testing for patients attending CSM Hospital and those referred from the community.
2) HIV I AIDS OUT PATIENT SERVICES:
OPD1 7B at CSM Hospital provides HIV / AIDS clinical services by a team of experts. Free diagnosis and treatment is provided for opportunistic infections. The patients are referred to the respective departments of the hospital if there is a need for admission or surgery. Counselling services are provided by trained counsellors.
Training programmes for doctors, nurses and resource persons are frequently conducted.
Targeted interventions for truckers and industry workers are being conducted.
VOLUNTARY COUNSELLING & TESTING CENTRES
1 MGM, DID
3 Shri Mahavir Medical
4 Rotary Club of Malad (West)
5 Rotary Club of Thae (East)
6 Rajiv Gandhi Medical
25347784 / 85 / 86
7 Bhiwadi A.T.C.
8 FRU Hospital Navi Mumbai
AIDS RESEARCH AND CONTROL (ARCON) CENTRE
Grant Medical College & Sir J J Hospital,