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 Health  India Project #28970

Enable Care & Support to end AIDS in India

by India HIV/AIDS Alliance
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Enable Care & Support  to end AIDS in India
Enable Care & Support  to end AIDS in India
Enable Care & Support  to end AIDS in India
Enable Care & Support  to end AIDS in India
Enable Care & Support  to end AIDS in India
Enable Care & Support  to end AIDS in India
Enable Care & Support  to end AIDS in India
Enable Care & Support  to end AIDS in India
Enable Care & Support  to end AIDS in India
Enable Care & Support  to end AIDS in India
Enable Care & Support  to end AIDS in India

Dear Supporter, 

We are extremely grateful to your unwavering support towards our cause. Your support has enabled children and adults living with HIV access counselling, testing, treatment and care. Our pan-India programme continues to accelerate efforts towards addressing barriers to treatment, improve treatment adherence, provide differentiated care and link to state welfare schemes.

Our work is possible because of the 90% of our frontline workforce who are themselves living with HIV and are passionate about empowering others going through similar experiences. Oftentimes, our frontline workers, known as counsellors and peer educators, go above and beyond to help individuals and families. For example, they take phone calls and visit hospitals beyond their work hours. When certain cost such as funeral is not covered by the project, they contribute individually and help the dead go with dignity by conducting the funeral ceremony.  Their commitment and enthusiasm are admirable. Your support has also supported these brave men and women to achieve significant milestones at ending AIDS in India. 

While our programme continues the work, the project on Global Giving comes to an end. However, updates on our work will be available on www.endaidsindia.org and www.allianceindia.org 

India still remains the 3rd largest population affected with epidemic and we will need your continued support in future to #EndAIDS

Thank you once again for your support! 

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Picture for representation purpose only
Picture for representation purpose only

Before Kamalini could properly adjust to her newly married life, she lost her husband, a truck driver, to HIV. She had no other choice but to accept her fate. She continued to live with her in-laws, then a few years later she started to frequently fall ill. When tested for HIV, her reports were positive. She was shattered to know that she will be on medication for lifelong. Feeling helpless, she registered herself with the ART Centre at Rourkela for the treatment. It was here that our outreach worker connected with Kamini.
 
During a course of time, Kamalini and Urmila (outreach worker) formed a close friendship as they were both HIV survivors. Urmila, trained in giving care and support services to people living with HIV, was able to impart HIV literacy and encourage Kamalini to adhere to her treatment regimen. “At the support group meetings held in the support centre, I met many who were living with HIV. They gave me hope. I thought, if they can, then I too can live a healthy and normal life”, said Kamalini.

Kamalini regularly attended the support group meetings and interacted with Urmila and other Outreach Workers who always extended support to her. They even introduced Kamalini to her future husband Santosh who is also living with HIV at Cuttack. Urmila along with another Outreach Worker from the Cuttack support center facilitated the first meeting between the families and in no time the wedding was fixed and Kamalini got re-married to Santosh. 

In January 2019, with proper guidance on Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission programme to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV medication the couple gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Kamalini couldn’t be happier to finally have a family of her own. Urmila had helped her through every step. “To see Kamalini transform into this confident and happy woman that she is today gives me great joy and satisfaction”, said Urmila who shared Kamalini’s journey to health and happiness. 

Impact in numbers:
10100 (People Living with HIV) PLHIV newly registered with the programme 
4857 PLHIV dropped out of treatment were brought back to ART treatment 
5109 PLHIV were linked to social welfare schemes & entitlement 
95554 PLHIV screened for TB symptoms for the first time
3424  TB symptomatic clients among registered PLHIV referred to ARTC / nearest TB testing facility
36 Pregnant Women identified at the Program linked with PPTCT 

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Picture for representation purpose only
Picture for representation purpose only

Dear Supporter, 

I would like to share with you about a remarkable young girl, a school drop-out, despite living with HIV and the challenges that come with it has pushed all boundaries to support the education of her younger siblings. 

Jyothi, 18, working in a textile company close to her village in Gadag district, Karnataka, is the main earning member of her family of four, consisting of her mother and two younger siblings. A few years ago her father was admitted to a government hospital where he was diagnosed with AIDS. During the testing of all family members, Jyothi and her younger sister tested HIV positive. Soon, her father passed away due to AIDS. Her mother who worked as a porter couldn’t earn enough for the family. The family didn’t have enough food to eat at times.

After Jyoti’s elder sister got married, Jyoti had to shoulder the family responsibilities. So she dropped out of the school to help the family and to keep her younger brother and sister in school. Jyoti was one of the adolescents to participate in our special training for adolescents living with HIV where they were provided with information and knowledge on sex, sexual health and gender. “I felt much more hopeful and confident after the training”, said Jyothi adding with a smile, “We could all share our challenges and encourage each other."

It has been seven years since Jyoti and her sister started ART, treatment for HIV at a government hospital. Their health has been steady and with the help of our team Jyothi’s mom is also availing the ‘widow’s pension scheme’. The small financial assistance is a big relief to the family and we salute their indomitable spirit. 

Major activities conducted during the quarter

HIV Testing for Spouses and Children: Our Care and Support Centres (CSCs) have been testing spouses or children of all persons tested HIV positive. However, we noticed only 30% followed through the testing. To understand the reasons behind poor testing, we conducted a small survey in randomly selected states.

As per the survey outcomes, the number one reason is a lack of awareness and health-seeking behaviour. We will work towards better education and counselling to help ensure HIV testing of spouses or children. And to continually train the outreach workers on counselling to ensure high efficiency.

There were other reasons such as spouse or children residing in other cities, not able to take time from work, not enough finances to travel to the testing centre, verbal confirmation of negative test result of the family members but no proof available etc. 

Educate Adolescents living with HIV: We worked with adolescents living with HIV in five states, Manipur, Rajasthan, UP, Maharashtra and Delhi to enhance their knowledge on sex, sexuality and gender. We trained 153 adolescents in master training and reached out to 1,289 youth through 12 Support group formed and led by 20 Peer Champions that were selected after the completion of the training. The training included dealing with self-stigma, social stigma and discrimination. 

Our initiative specifically bridged the knowledge gap for adolescents living with HIV on issues that are not only private but also deemed taboo in our society. The lack of awareness can lead to multiple risks and vulnerabilities. Now that they are equipped with the right information, they are much more capable to make informed choices. 

Media Advocacy-Tamil Nadu: A State Level event was held addressing the issue of Positive Blood Transfusion to a pregnant woman in Sathur GH, Virudhunagar district in Tamil Nadu State. There was a Press meet with the print and electronic media personnel in Virudhunagar district.  Virudhunagar District HIV Ullor Nala Sangam (VDHUNS); the Salem District Network of Positive People (SNP+) and other partners were engaged in this respect. This event was widely covered by the print and electronic media at the State level. Through this event, the Government, public and the service providers got sensitized and the government had announced various welfare and relief measures to the positive blood recipient including pregnant mothers.

Impact in numbers:
519520 people living with HIV were screened for TB in HIV care and treatment settings
82730 PLHIV who are lost to follow up (LFU) and missed were tracked back with a definite outcome
8362 people who were tested for HIV and 659 of those tested HIV positive were initiated on ART

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Maya and her daughter visiting our Centre
Maya and her daughter visiting our Centre

Dear friend,

We are happy to connect with you once again and bring you updates from the field. Our goal is to bring everyone tested HIV positive to the ambit of treatment and care. To do so, we cannot overlook many other cross-cutting issues such as gender disparity, mental health, social stigma, loss of livelihood, access to information, education and nutrition etc. These issues are addressed from case to case so that the HIV treatment is not only successful but we are able to improve the overall quality of life for individuals living with HIV.

Following up for initiation of ART

‘Test and Treat’ is the ambitious policy of the government of India wherein all tested HIV+ should initiate treatment as soon as they are registered. However, during the reporting period, 55,298 people were yet to start the treatment. This is mainly because either they are not ready for the treatment or they drop out before the initiation of ART. Our Care and Support Centre took up this challenge of following up with each person. As a result, 15,298 tested positive were initiated on ART, the treatment for HIV.

3-month special sustenance initiative:

It became evident from the data that nearly 33% of patients become lost to follow up the case within three months of treatment initiation. Some of them get mild side effects or they feel they are at the peak of their health which is why they stop the treatment. Realizing this, a provision is made under our programme to follow such patients closely for initial three months to address any inhibition on treatment, to support them in coping with the side effects and enabling them to take precautionary measures to avoid such side effects in future. The family members or the person who can support the patient to stay in treatment will be sensitized too. During the reporting period, 70,543 patients started on ART and our centres across the states provided the three-month services to 33,447 patients.

Bringing back Ashok in active treatment

Ashok, aged 28, lives in Cuttack district in Orissa and works with a private company. Three years ago he was detected HIV seropositive. After the detection, he had done a CD4 test, however, thereafter he didn’t visit the ART centre for the treatment. His name came up in the ‘Yet to be put on ART” list and our Care and Support Centre staff tried to reach him over the phone. Despite agreeing to visit ART, he never did.  After continued follow up over the phone and numerous house visits, at last, our staff members were able to put him on ART treatment.

He also received psycho-social support that helped him cope with stress, depression, and worries that he was facing at the time. Now he is active on treatment and continues to hold a regular job. His parents are very happy to see the positive change in him and expressed gratitude for our intervention.

Out of 1260472 PLHIV registered with our Programme:

  • 85,306 received differentiated care and support services
  • 16,068  ART LFU/Missed PLHIV were re-linked to ART services for treatment in this period
  • 6,560 PLHIV linked with social protection schemes and Entitlements
  • 2,165 Family members and partners of PLHIV were tested for HIV
  • 4,52,058 PLHIV screened for TB
  • 172 Pregnant Women identified at the Program linked with Prevention of Parent-To-Child Transmission Programme.
Families celebrating Holi festival
Families celebrating Holi festival
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Due to stigma she wishes to not disclose identity
Due to stigma she wishes to not disclose identity

We are thankful for your continuous support. Recently, I had a chance to meet Jeena (name changed). I was so touched to hear her story. These events in her life are fairly recent and I could see that her emotions were still raw. Nevertheless, she had determination in her voice and spark in her eyes that only a few in her circumstance would possess. 

Jeena lost her first husband to tuberculosis and HIV. The reason for his prolonged illness and eventual death was always a hush-hush matter in the family so Jeena had no clue about it. Ignorant of HIV, her in-laws decided to marry her off with their younger son.

After about five years into her second marriage, Jeena started to fall sick. She tested positive for HIV and her parents supported her for treatment. They told her to keep it a secret fearing discrimination. Eventually, her second husband also became unwell. She requested him to go for HIV test but he refused. The family tried every other treatment to no avail. Eventually, he too succumbed to HIV.

Jeena had a strong will to defeat HIV and live for the sake of her three children. She started working as an Outreach Worker with an NGO where she was trained first. It was here that all her questions about HIV were answered.

Thankfully, all her children have tested HIV negative. “Even today, when I come home from work, my in-laws hurl abuses at me and tell me that I am a witch who ate her husbands”.

Secrecy around HIV has left Jeena as a struggling single mother and her children fatherless. The social, cultural and economic challenges multiply the burden for HIV+ women. Jeena is becoming stronger each day while helping others like her.

Thank you for standing in support and solidarity with individuals who are not only fighting HIV but also shame and stigma attached to it. 

Let's continue to save lives in the year 2019 and support many more like Jeena to take charge of their lives and live happy, healthy and stigma-free. 

Thank you!

Tara Rana 

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Organization Information

India HIV/AIDS Alliance

Location: New Delhi - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AllianceinIndia
Project Leader:
Tara Rana
New Delhi, New Delhi India

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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