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HIV +ve People to be Offered Jobs Soon

Chandigarh: UT’s State AIDS Control Society (SACS) intends to provide counselling to HIV positive persons from those who really know their troubles. It intends to hire 10 HIV infected people for its integrated counselling and training centre (ICTC).

The posts will pay Rs 3,000 per month. They will be advertised soon. Those on the job will provide advice to HIV positive individuals and help them conduct their therapy.

“We have the approval of National AIDS Control Organization for this. These counsellors will follow up on patients and urge them to continue treatment,” said UT SACS director Vineeta Gupta. There are 350 registered HIV positive people in the city and 60% of them are unemployed despite being qualified.

As Pooja Thakur, president of the Chandigarh Network of People Living With HIV, noted, “Basic treatment costs Rs 2,000 per month, though the antiretroviral therapy comes for free. It is difficult to manage finances. Most of us are turned out of offices when we disclose our HIV status. Therefore, this will be a good opportunity.”

The opening will also be of help for Rakesh Kumar, who is HIV positive. He is surviving on a meagre Rs 400 per month. “I have been writing to all the health and treasury department officials for the post of a peon advertised a year ago. I had lost my only source of income when a project dispensary for HIV, where I was working, closed down,” he said. “The virus makes these people vulnerable to infections and fatigues them. They would be able to handle this kind of work,” noted Gupta.

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