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Nov 7, 2017

More Than A Survivor

Protect mother and child both
Protect mother and child both

Dear friend,

We have been creating awareness and raising support for people living with HIV in India for many years. It has only been few months since we created our fundraising page on GlobalGiving. We hope to reach as many people as we can to join our cause and support HIV Response in India because HIV crisis in India is far from over.

The pan-India programme we support reported the following Impact in Numbers:

  • 14,989 People Living with HIV (PLHIV) were registered newly in our Care & Support Centres (CSCs).
  • 12,058 were linked with various Social Welfare Schemes/ Entitlements.
  • 4,982 family members/ partners were referred to Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre and received test results.
  • 31,539 PLHIV screened for TB symptoms.
  • 15,286 PLHIV were brought back to ART centre to resume treatment.
  • 338 referred PLHIV got tested and detected TB positive.
  • 1963 registered PLHIV confirmed death during the reporting month.

I would like to share with you a story of a young girl. It is stories like these that motivate us to do what we do. I hope it will inspire you too.

Meet Bindu, she is more than a survivor

I am 18-year-old college going girl and I live with my grandmother in rural India. I was raised by my grandmother. I was very young when I lost my parents to HIV/AIDS. After their death, my father’s side of the family was not willing to take care of me because I too was HIV positive. They packed me off to my maternal grandmother. Ever since she is the only family I know.

My grandmother had limited means but she did her best to put me through school and treatment. During my early teens, I began to question about my life. Why were my parents taken away from me? Why was I born with HIV for no fault of mine? I was upset.

I didn’t feel like continuing my antiretroviral (ART) treatment. After I discontinued the treatment my health began to fall apart. I still didn’t have the motivation to return to ART treatment. I thought to myself maybe I will be met with the same fate as my parents and I was okay with it.

One day, a staff from the local NGO visited me. She had gathered my information from the Anti Retroviral Therapy Centre. She was a courteous and kind person. She listened to me patiently as I began to share with her my emotional struggles. It felt good to know that someone understood me.

With the encouragement of the NGO staff I came back to the ART Centre and resumed my treatment. The NGO also helped me with additional nutritional supply which we couldn’t afford to buy.  Since they were very helpful people I made one more request. I asked them to help me get my inheritance which is rightfully mine. They were more than willing to help me.

They visited my father’s side of the family and made them aware of my rights. Knowing the consequences of their failure to support me and depriving me of my rights, they were left with no option but to do what is right. They transferred acres of land in my name and gave some money that my parents had left behind.

I am so happy now. I am going to study diligently and complete bachelor’s degree in Computer Application with good marks. After studies, I hope to secure a government job in IT department. I am so thankful to such selfless services of the NGO and the ART Centre staff who helped me and changed my life for better. I am open to volunteer at the Care and Support Centre and provide peer-support to other young people like me who live with HIV.

Girls like Bindu need more than treatment. They need psychological support to overcome stigma and discrimination that they face on daily basis.  They also need advocacy support because their voices are weak and unheard. Our Care & Support Centre stands with individuals like Bindu and helps them not only regain their health but their citizenship and human rights.

Thank you for contributing to our cause. Please share with your friends and family and help us reach out to many more and raise support. Together, we can create healthier communities and end AIDS in India.

Thank you!

Image for representation only to protect identity
Image for representation only to protect identity
PLHIV in one of the CSCs
PLHIV in one of the CSCs
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