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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
Radhakrishnan's house ravaged by Kerala floods
Radhakrishnan's house ravaged by Kerala floods

Dear Supporter, 

The unexpected floods that ravaged a large part of Kerala have disrupted the lives of people across the state. 

Under the guidance of National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), Kerala State AIDS Control Society (KSACS) and ART centres, our Care and Support Centres (CSCs) and District Level Network of people living with HIV (DLN) continue to do a tremendous job in of the support to affected People Living with HIV (PLHIV) by ensuring urgent medical requirements and counselling support.

There have been problems in locating PLHIV stranded in waterlogged areas. Ensuring uninterrupted supply of ART drugs during such situations was a great concern as we had to maintain privacy even at a time like this. Great efforts were made in addressing this issue. CSC staff contacted every PLHIV in the flood-hit area and delivered enough supply of medicines. Alternate arrangements were made for the affected people to collect medicines from nearby ART/LACs that are accessible at present. KSACS has issued a circular to all the delivery points including those in the nearby states to provide medicines to meet requirements for every needy PLHIV.

Although severely affected by the floods, the PLHIV community in Kerala have overcome this calamity. Now efforts are in full swing for smooth rehabilitation and reconstruction. As people of Kerala stand together to overcome the traumatic situation with support from around the globe, the road to recovery and reconstruction may not be that difficult.

Radhakrishnan who lives with his aged mother and two children in Pudanoor region in Kerala was one among them. He is HIV+ and gets his treatment from our Care and Support Centre in Palakkad city. He works as a salesman in a petrol pump and hardly earns enough to sustain himself. The heavy rain ruined all that he had, including his house. He is now staying in a camp in Palakkad and has nowhere to go with his family. Palakkad CSC is offering him support till he can support himself and his family. He was provided with a life support kit consisting of groceries, clothing and all basic utilities. With the support of kind-hearted people and we could support many individuals like Radhakrishnan. 

 Finding a home for an HIV orphan and HIV+ young Swati

Gangumai, a helpless grandmother from the small hilly village of Raigad district in Maharashtra requested for our support for the admission of her granddaughter to an orphanage.  Her granddaughter Swati, a 12-year-old girl living with HIV, has been part of our Care and Support Centre for the past two years. After facing stigma and discrimination from her paternal relatives she was packed off to her grandmother, Gangumai. 

Gangumai is a domestic worker in her village. She faced a lot of challenging in raising her granddaughter with her meagre income.  In January, 2018, Gangumai, with the support of the senior medical officer of the ART centre in Alibaug, Dr Nalanda, approached us for help. The Raigad Child Welfare Committee (CWC) then transferred the child to Thane district CWC for their support as none of the centres was equipped in handling children living with HIV. Unfortunately, even Thane District forwarded the case to CWC in Palghar district for help. Finally, the Palghar CWC issued the order for getting her admitted in Inigo Ekjaa Aruthi Children’s Medical Institute, Vasai in Palghar district. Our field team tirelessly worked from February 2018 and on 16th August 2018 Swati was admitted in the institute at Vasai successfully where her needs for health care and education will be taken care. 

Her grandmother is now relieved knowing that her granddaughter now has a chance at a better future, a future she could not have given her. 

Out of 12,95,452 PLHIV registered with our Programme:

1,20,455 received differentiated care and support services.    
14,141 ART LFU/Missed PLHIV were re-linked to ART services for treatment.
13,545 PLHIV linked with social protection schemes and entitlements.
2,745 Family members and partners of PLHIV were tested for HIV.
65,707 Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV) screened for TB.
222 pregnant women identified at the programme linked with Prevention of Parent-To-Child Transmission  Programme. 

Life support kit distribution
Life support kit distribution
Finally, HIV+ Swati finds a home
Finally, HIV+ Swati finds a home
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Tailoring and Sewing Centre
Tailoring and Sewing Centre

The ordeal continues: An HIV positive child left untreated and neglected

6-year-old Rakesh from Sikar district in Rajasthan lost his parents to AIDS. After their demise, he was irregular for his antiretroviral therapy treatment (ART). An outreach worker from our centre traced him. He was under the care of his relatives and in poor health condition. The outreach worker tried to convince them of the need for Rakesh to resume his treatment. Though his caretakers agreed to take him to the ART centre, it never happened despite multiple visits and follow-up. Every time, the relatives had some excuses for not taking Rakesh to the ART centre.

Our field team got in touch with the Child Rights Commission and shared their concerns. A team from the Commission, along with the local police visited the house to rescue Rakesh. He was taken to the ART centre to ensure immediate medical care and re-initiation of his treatment. Later, he was accommodated in the Child Care Home in Jaipur with the help of the Child Welfare Committee.

Rakesh had inherited 4 acres of land from his parents. His relatives, eyeing this property, denied him treatment and proper food to ensure that he too succumbs to the disease like his parents. Now, the land is under the government’s control. When Rakesh attains the age of 18, he will be given the ownership of his property. This incident necessitated the need for looking into the living conditions and health status of other children like Rakesh.

Recreating their future; vocational training for Women Living with HIV/AIDS:

Bellary is a drought-prone district with traditionally male dominant society and finding a job for women is usually a challenging task. Being HIV positive only adds to their challenges. Our field staff worked with the local authorities to start a tailoring training centre at Hospet. The centre started with 7 tailoring machines with the objective of providing an income generating opportunity for women especially widows. So far 4 batches have successfully completed and total105 women have been trained, out of which 96 members are now self-employed. They are earning Rs. 2500-3000/- per month. Their success is evident in the words of Vijayalakshmi who is 23 years old widow from a local village. She lost her husband to HIV and with that, she also lost her hope for life. After the completion of the course, she started tailoring in full swing and today owns 4 machines. She is leading a comfortable and happy life with a monthly income of over Rs. 20,000. She is also setting aside Rs 8000 for her future. 

Out of 1260472 PLHIV registered with our Programme in this tenure, our other indicators were:

  • 85,306 received differentiated care and support services
  • 16,068  ART LFU/Missed PLHIV were re-linked to ART services for treatment
  • 6,560 PLHIV linked with social protection schemes and Entitlements
  • 2,165 Family members and partners of PLHIV were tested for HIV
  • 52,440 PLHIV screened for TB
  • 172 Pregnant Women identified at the Program linked with Prevention of Parent-To-Child Transmission Programme.
Finding support and friends at sewing centre
Finding support and friends at sewing centre

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Skill building training for HIV+ adolescents
Skill building training for HIV+ adolescents

Special focus on adolescents living with HIV

Challenges faced by adolescents living with HIV are manifold. A good number of them would have lost either one or both their parents to AIDS. They would then depend on their extended family members if any for food and shelter. Moreover, due to the illness of parents, some of them are forced to discontinue their studies. Owing to their difficult circumstances, many of them are not regular on the antiretroviral therapy, treatment for HIV.

With the objective of ensuring retention of adolescents living with HIV in care and improving their treatment adherence, the programme reached out to about 150 adolescents in the last one year and registered them under our project for availing services such as travel support for accessing ART, supplementary nutrition, educational support, life skills education and vocational training.

Travel supports provided through the programme took the burden off their relatives and enabled the adolescents to collect their medicines from ART centre every month. As a result, their treatment adherence levels and overall health status have improved. Similarly, nutrition support enhanced the efficacy of ART and improved their attendance in school. Those who were forced to discontinue their studies due to lack of financial resources were supported to resume their studies. The programme also provided them with a platform to share their views, receive peer support, and learn from one another.

 

Helping PLHIV find life partners

Social acceptance for people living with HIV (PLHIV) is a big need in our society. Disclosing one’s HIV status hinders their prospect of getting married or having a family as the society still has certain misconceptions associated with sex amongst PLHIV. With the vision of positive living our programme partner, Gujarat State Level Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GSNP+) with support from Reliance Industries and government of Gujarat organised a marriage consultation for PLHIV.

All our programme partners, mostly the state and district level networks across India took an active part in mobilising community members. The aim is to strengthen the support system for PLHIV by helping them find their suitable life partners and live their life to the fullest with dignity. A matrimonial website was created for interested PLHIV from various states to register themselves which was screened by GSNP+ representatives. More than 900 candidates from 8 states registered themselves with a hope to find their soul mates. So far 21 couples have found the match for each other. A special event was organised to reinforce hope and confidence of many PLHIV to see their dream of finding their life partner. The event was attended and graced by state government dignitaries.

 

Ankit's Story: Overcoming obstacles to help himself and others

29-years-old Ankit worked as a staff nurse in a private hospital in Kota, Rajasthan. He lives with his two elder brothers and mother and was leading a happy life. In 2015, he fell ill and got himself tested in the hospital for HIV, the lab technician informed him about his HIV status and also informed the hospital’s managing director as well as the senior doctor. After knowing Ankit’s HIV status, he was terminated from his job citing that his character was doubtful and blamed him for his infection. He was depressed after losing his job with thoughts looming over his mind whether he had committed any sin or crime and whether the society will accept him. He was apprehensive about finding another job and was worried about his career. His elder brothers supported him immensely and motivated him. He initiated antiretroviral therapy (ART) and in the hospital, he met Sangeeta from our Care and Support Centre (CSC) she explained about positive living methods and told him about her fight with HIV and informed him about the importance of treatment adherence.

He then got himself registered at the CSC in Kota, Rajasthan. Witnessing his passion for supporting others and his energetic personality, the medical officer of the hospital guided him to work with the CSC. Today he is a peer counsellor in the CSC actively extending his warmth and support to many PLHIV, motivating them to live a healthy and productive life. Presently, he is happily married and is committed to continuing working towards reducing stigma and discrimination faced by PLHIV in the society.

Currently, our programme has 310 such active Care & Support Centres (CSCs) across India, of which 300 CSCs are led by PLHIV networks and community-based organisations and 10 by Transgender community-based organisations.

 

Out of 1248815 PLHIV registered under our Care and Support Centre:

•    82,953 received differentiated care and support services

•    18,031  ART LFU/Missed PLHIV were re-linked to ART services for treatment

•    5,920 PLHIV linked with social protection schemes and Entitlements

•    1,950 Family members and partners of PLHIV were tested for HIV

•    35,273 PLHIV screened for TB

•    131 Pregnant Women identified at the Program linked with PPTCT

 

The launching event of matrimonial site for PLHIV
The launching event of matrimonial site for PLHIV
HIV Survivor now becomes a Peer Counselor
HIV Survivor now becomes a Peer Counselor
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Community leaders at the exhibition
Community leaders at the exhibition

What discrimination in everyday life looks like?

Life was sailing smoothly for Sita Devi and her family till her neighbour got to know about her HIV status and began to harass her by vandalizing her household. They started to spread rumours and turned few of the villagers against her.

Sita Devi and her family resides in Sikar district of Rajasthan. She is registered at our Care & Support Centre (CSC), Sikar, and is linked with social schemes including Bus Concession, Below Poverty Line card, and Pension schemes.

The CSC Sikar team intervened and sought support from the State Women’s Commission. The action was taken by the commission to help her and additionally, she received financial assistance to build her own house under a government scheme. Following the construction of her house, the same neighbour with the support of village Panchayat members sent a notice informing her about the demolition of her house. Petrified of this, Sita again contacted the CSC team and cried for help to save her house.

Understanding the seriousness of the matter, the CSC team approached the National and State Human Rights Commission and the State Women’s Commission and highlighted the harassment meted. The CSC team continuously followed-up the case with both the commissions and finally on the order of the District Collector the issue was resolved and her house was saved. Time and again our Care and Support Centers go out of their way to help individuals like Sita to live healthy and dignified lives.   

HIJRA HABBA EVENT

HIJRA HABBA, meaning a gathering of transgender persons, is a unique annual event organised by Alliance India in support of the transgender community in India. According to the 2011 national census, there are five million transgender persons in India. Transgender people are one of the groups most affected by the HIV epidemic and are 49 times more likely to be living with HIV than the general population. The reason why they are at high risk of HIV is because of the social, economic and legal exclusion they face. Although 44% of the people living with HIV are women and children there is 7% prevalence of HIV among the transgender people.

The fifth HIJRA HABBA event took place on 22nd September 2017 at Select City Walk Mall in Delhi. The event brought the LGBT community, activists and supporters from all over the country for an evening of inclusion. The heavy rainfall didn’t dampen the spirits of all those who were gathered. The programme was packed with entertaining performances briefly interjected with voices of the individuals from the LGBT community and their concerns. The event was well covered by the mainstream news media. We believe such public events will continue to help promote acceptance and reduce discriminatory behaviour towards the LGBT community. 

World AIDS DAY Celebration

We celebrated the World AIDS DAY 2017 with the community leaders from different states, recognised for their initiative and remarkable work in HIV response, and the public gathering of more than 2000 in Delhi’s Connaught Place Central Park. The public event exhibited the journey of HIV response in India starting from the diagnosis of the first HIV case to the immense progress the national programme and all the players in the field of HIV response have made to this day. Many of these community leaders shared their personal stories at this public platform and succeeded not only in spreading awareness but garnering support and hope for every single person living with HIV. On this occasion and in the presence of dignitaries, Alliance India recognised community leaders for their admirable work through the Annual Community leadership awards. Dr K S Sachdeva from National AIDS Control Organisation, Dr Nandini Kapoor Dhingra from UNAIDS, Jyoti Mehra from UNODC, and other development partners were also present in the programme. Dr Bilali Camara, Country Director UNAIDS thanked Alliance India for bringing all key communities together through this important event. 

Being Proactive

Virudhnagar situated more than 500 kilometres from Chennai, Tamil Nadu and has a population of 2 million, where 2500+ People living with HIV (PLHIV) are in the active care of Antiretroviral Therapy Centre (ART). It was noticed that nearly one-third of the affected population were suffering from the severe anaemic condition. To address this our staff from the centres managed to resource iron syrup at much lesser price than the market price. The ART Centre has been referring those having haemoglobin level less than 8% of our centre recommending them to take iron syrup and we distributed to 945 people which effectively has helped improve their health conditions. 

The following are the key achievements reported by our pan-India programme:

  • 7,604 PLHIV were registered newly in CSC and HD
  • 10,870 Clients were linked with various Social Welfare Schemes/ Entitlements
  • 1,465 Family members/ partners were referred to ICTC and received test results
  • 19,052 PLHIV screened for TB symptoms (4S) by CSC and HD staff through ICF
  • 8234 clients has been brought back to the ART centre
Sita stands in front of her house that was saved
Sita stands in front of her house that was saved
World AIDS Day: Community leaders being awarded
World AIDS Day: Community leaders being awarded
World AIDS Day: More than 2000 people joined us
World AIDS Day: More than 2000 people joined us
HIJRA HABBA: A trans-woman addresses the audience
HIJRA HABBA: A trans-woman addresses the audience
HIJRA HABBA Event at the Select City Mall, Delhi
HIJRA HABBA Event at the Select City Mall, Delhi
HIJRA HABBA: Community members performing
HIJRA HABBA: Community members performing
World AIDS Day: Dancing Queens troupe performing
World AIDS Day: Dancing Queens troupe performing
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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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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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