HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS

HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is one of the world’s most serious public health challenges. At the end of 2018, it was estimated that globally there are 37.9 million people living with HIV, including 1.7 million children. India has the third largest HIV epidemic in the world. Since the 1990’s, the impact of HIV and AIDS has been devastating. In recent years in India, the issue of HIV and AIDS has been greatly sidelined, and those who are infected and affected by HIV and AIDS struggle to cope with their illness and its effect on their families.

The stigma of HIV & AIDS means that those who are infected are often marginalised and isolated from their support networks, forcing them to face the challenge of coping with a debilitating illness on their own. In combination with significant health issues it can be very difficult for those infected with HIV to hold down a job and financially support their families.

The situation is particularly difficult for those families who are poor, marginalised, and for women, who have been widowed or are the sole bread-winners in their families as a result of HIV and AIDS. Often their desperate situation sees them forced to work in risky, poorly paid and/or demanding jobs in order for their family simply to survive.