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Discrimination Against People Living with HIV and AIDS Programme

WIN, EFFICOR and a group of other NGO’s jointly organised and financed a program on “Discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS”.

The purpose of the program was to highlight discrimination in the family, community, hospitals and the work place. WIN’s co-founder Usha Patil opened the program by sharing the charity’s experiences of discrimination within private and government hospitals, revealing that whilst there has been a lot of improvement in attitudes towards people with HIV and AIDS, the charity still faces difficulty in getting HIV+ women admitted during medical emergencies.

The function was hosted in Mure Memorial Hospital and the guest of honour was Director of Mure Memorial, Mr Villas Shende.

Guest speakers included Advocate Bhongade who offered advice on property rights, as well as giving HIV+ members of the audience, especially women, the opportunity to discuss their legal matters.

An inability to own and access property is one of the biggest difficulties facing women in households affected by HIV/AIDS. HIV+ women who have been abandoned by their husbands and ostracized from their communities and widows who have lost their husbands to AIDS-related illnesses are very often denied a rightful share of their husbands’ property. The community or their in-laws throw them out, leaving them destitute and homeless. Sometimes, the women are sent back to their parents without a dowry, making it difficult for their families to support them.

The meeting concluded after 3 hours with HIV+ women sharing their experiences of discrimination but leaving much more informed and inspired to speak up for their rights.

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