India has 2.4 million HIV positive people. It’s estimated that out of these 61% are male, 39% are female and 3.5% are children (Source-AIDS Alliance). But there is a silver lining in those figures. Recently released UNAIDS Report 2013 claims that India has managed to reduce new HIV infections by a staggering 57% since 2001.
And as the world observed World Aids Day on 1st December, FXB India Suraksha continues to strive hard and highlight the critical need of creating awareness amongst the effected community and supporting them to tackle the HIV epidemic.
Encapsulating the multifaceted approach adapted by FXB India Suraksha, Mamta Borgoyary, CEO of the organization says, "Providing medical and supportive services like supplementary nutrition, psychosocial counseling, support to continue children's education and income generation activities (IGA) skill training to improve the economic status of the families are some of the comprehensive care that we provide to the people living with HIV- AIDS.”
FXB India Suraksha has been working to reduce stigma and discrimination through community mobilization and awareness generation camps and provide basic care and support to people infected and affected with HIV/AIDS through quality referrals and regular follow-ups for ART adherence. The organizational approach is inclined towards training infected peer leaders to train them as 'change agents' to promote prevention. In the states of north east region of India, FXB is carrying out VIHAAN programme that seeks to establish and manage care & support centre's as part of the national effort to improve treatment outcomes and meet the needs of the people living with HIV (PLHIV) woman and children over a period of three years.
To mark World Aids Day, in Mizoram, the day was observed with much awareness aimed action. Student from Staines memorial school, Mizoram, Presbyterian Youth Department, Youth Adventure Club Kulikawn, Neuva section, people living with HIV/AIDS and other NGOs, participated in an awareness rally that started from from Chandmari, Aizawl towards Vanapa hall. Ms Lalmalsawmi, Project Director-Mizoram State Aids Control Society, Chief Guest at the World AIDS day talked about people's mindset about AIDS in Mizoram in her speech. While appreciating efforts of FXB India Suraksha in Mizoram, she also said, “First we as a community need to change our attitude towards the issue and start talking about it more.” The day concluded with a minute silent prayer for those who have lost their precious lives followed by a touching song sung by a local artist based on HIV AIDS. Ms Christina Lalrindiki, Mizoram State coordinator, FXB India Suraksha appealed all the attendees and participants to stand up and join hands for the cause.
In Tamil Nadu as well, FXB India Suraksha in collaboration with High School, Kazhuperumpakkam conducted a mass rally wherein about 220 adolescent school children along with the teachers participated. The rally started from from Kazuperumpakkam High school towards Kozuvari Village. The event was inaugurated by the school headmaster who threw light upon the issue and it was followed by the rally from the students who walked down the street with placards and banners in their hand, shouting slogans and distributing awareness materials. The rally generated mass awareness about HIV/AIDS to about 2500 people from the general public.
In Jaipur in state of Rajatshan, around 250 girls from Rajkiya Balika Madhyamik Vidyalaya, Gandhinagar participated in an awareness campaign. They made a human chain and took out a rally around the town. Mamta Mehra, a teacher from the government run school explained the students about how AIDS gets transmitted and what precautions are to be taken to prevent it. She further added, “Through the street walk, students spread the word about the prevention and cure of AIDS. They should create awareness in the society about the menace as they are the coming generation who will work as a change agent.”
The observance across different states where FXB India Suraksha operates reverberated the organizational mission to continue to work for those affected by AIDS. The rallies also in many ways spread awareness among thousands of people about how to stay away from the disease and also how to deal with it without losing hope.