Stop human rights violations against people living with HIV

Stop human rights violations against people living with HIV


Karnataka HIV Sonkithara Sanghatane (Sanghatan of people living with HIV in Karnataka), Phone: 9980717496, Email: karhss@gmail.com

invites you for the PUBLIC DEMONSTRATION

on 30th November 2010 (Tuesday) at 1 PM

at Mahatma Gandhi Statue, MG Road, Bangalore

Our demands:
1. Stop the involvement of Village Health and Sanitation Committees and village panchayats in providing support to children infected/affected by HIV
2. Provide adequate food and nutrition to all adults and children living with HIV
3. Provide free, non-judgemental and quality medical treatment to all PLHIV
4. Involve PLHIV meaningfully at levels of decision making


Join us in demanding justice, bring your family members and friends along.

Constitution of India guarantees right to life to all its citizens. But the Government of Karnataka and KSAPS (Karnataka State AIDS Prevention Society), the main governmental institution to address the issues of HIV in the state, have completely failed in protecting the right to health, right to food, right to dignity and right to life for PLHIV (People Living with HIV).

Stop harming children living with/affected by HIV in the name of supporting them: Government of Karnataka has rolled out a program recently through WCD (Department for Women and Child Development) to help children living with/affected by HIV in Karnataka by supporting expenses for basic food/nutrition, shelter, medical and related travel expenses, educational materials, clothing etc. Beneficiaries will be identified by the Village Health and Sanitation Committee and the village panchayat. The support for beneficiaries will be provided through the Village Health and
Sanitation Committee.

Why should Village Health and Sanitation Committees and village panchayats be involved in the process? Why should they know who is HIV infected child/parents in each village? Can the information about the people living with HIV be kept confidential in this process? Who will take responsibility if the people living with HIV and their children face stigma, discrimination, social boycott and other human rights violations as a result of revealing their HIV status to public? Is the government trying to help children infected/affected by HIV or trying to kill them or violate their human rights? Why the government did not consult HIV positive people and groups before designing this program? This shows complete lack of sensitivity from the government in dealing with people living with HIV, one of the most marginalized section of our spciety. This program should be stopped with immediate effect and wide-spread consultations should be held with HIV positive people and groups to redesign the program.

Provision of food and nutrition is central to the survival of PLHIV: Most PLHIV die in Karnataka due to poverty and lack of adequate food and nutrition. Adequate food and nutrition help in slowing the progress of the disease i.e. slow the weakening of the immune system. Adequate food and nutrition can help PLHIV to delay the intake of ART (Anti-Retroviral Treatment). PLHIV on ART need more nutrition than others. Adults living with HIV need 10%-30% more nutrition than others and children living with HIV need 50%-100% more nutrition than others, based on their disease progression. Intake of adequate food and nutrition is very difficult for many PLHIV as they are forced to spend significant portions of their income for medications and other needs connected with HIV. Government of Karnataka and KSAPS have failed to keep their long-time promises on making adequate food and nutrition available to PLHIV. This is high time that the government take immediate measures to ensure that adequate food and nutrition is provided for PLHIV.

Provide non-judgemental and free medical treatment in public health system:
PLHIV face enormous stigma, discrimination and neglect in the public health system. We regularly hear about the deaths of HIV positive women during child birth as government hospitals refuse to conduct the deliveries. Still medical kits required to help HIV positive women in the delivery process are not there in most hospitals. PLHIV are forced to spend a lot of money for medicines and diagnostics as they are not provided free of cost.

Meaningful involvement of PLHIV is a must: In a democracy, people affected are to be the central part of any decision making process. Government of Karnataka and KSAPS never involve PLHIV meaningfully in any decision making process that affects them. In fact Joint Director (TI) of KSAPS is known for publicly abusing and insulting PLHIV.

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