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Coping with Challenges in Pediatric HIV Care

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By Vidya Kulkarni
Happier moments, Savita with her elder daughter Happier moments, Savita with her elder daughter
For Savita (name changed), a 29 year old woman from Sangli district in Maharashtra, her two daughters are her whole world. “They have given me a reason to live and revitalized my interest in life,” feels the mother, who has pulled herself out of the trauma caused due to her positive status.

Savita found out that she had contracted the HIV virus during her second pregnancy. She had not heard of the infection till then and thought that something terrible is going to happen to her and the baby. To her surprise Savita delivered a healthy baby with no infection as she had received treatment for prevention of parent to child transmission (PPTCT) at the Civil Hospital in Sangli.

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Fear of HIV

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By Max Martin
Akshara (8) and Ananthu (6) have been boycotted at school and in their village of Kodiyoor in Kerala because they are HIV–positive. Following pressure from several quarters, they have now been allotted a separate room at school in which to study, and a new teacher.

Fear stalks the sleepy agrarian village of Kodiyoor in Kannur district, Kerala, the political hotspot of a state that boasts over 90% literacy. Around a fortnight ago, children aged between five and 10 were paraded by their parents along the village’s main street sporting placards saying a big ‘No’ to the entry of Akshara (8) and Ananthakrishanan (6) into the local primary school.

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Fighting the Stigma of being HIV-Positive

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By Max Martin
Women in Karnataka talk about the stigma and discrimination they face because of their HIV–positive status
Heena is a sprightly woman in her early–20s. When she returns to her village in Karnataka her neighbours stare at her as if seeing an apparition. “Are you all right?” someone will ask coldly. “I am still alive, not dead,” Heena replies before going on to counsel women living with HIV in and around her village. Some are widowed; many are dispossessed and ostracised by their families.

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Living with AIDS in Orissa

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By Elisa Patnaik
People with HIV/AIDS in Orissa are ostracised and mistreated by their families, community and the medical fraternity. These conditions have prompted the formation of Orissa’s first registered association of people living with AIDS, the Kalinga Positive People’s Association.

“I wish I had died immediately after testing positive for HIV/AIDS rather than have to undergo such disgrace, pain and trauma. This is much worse than death,” weeps Basanti Jena* recalling her ordeal at the hands of her family and community members.

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A Positive Approach Towards HIV

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By Nava Thakuria
Jahnabi Goswami Jahnabi Goswami
Jahnabi Goswami is the first woman in the northeast to declare her HIV status. She has lived with HIV – and the accompanying discrimination – for ten years. In 2002 she set up the Assam Network of Positive People to build the capacities of people living with the virus.

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