NIZAMABAD: HIV/AIDS patients are being provided with a pension facility by the state government. A sum of Rs 1,000 is being deposited every month in their bank accounts for their treatment and food. Usually, patients from poor economic backgrounds depend on the state run Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) centres for their medical treatment.
Presently, ART centres have become crucial in providing medical treatment and pension facility to HIV/AIDS patients. If a patient has applied for pension, ART centres forward the details to the state officials and pension is automatically sanctioned.
If any person is treated for HIV/AIDS for three months, s/he will be eligible for pension. The patient is provided with an identity number instead of name and other details.
Based on ID number and bank account details, monthly pension is credited. With social stigma still attached to HIV/AIDS patients, care is taken to provide
the identity of the patients.
In Nizamabad district alone, around 2070 HIV/AIDS patients get monthly pension. About 30 patients were dropped from the pension list, as they died during treatment.
New patients are added to the list regularly. An official from the District Rural Development Department said that compared to other category pensions, fluctuations were more visible in HIV/AIDS patients' pensions.
“If any patient fails to get treatment at ART centre for three consecutive months, his/her details will be automatically deleted from the pension list,” he explained.
Monthly pension is useful for the patients as most of them use the amount to buy nutritious food.