Competence in resolving issues of PLHIV in communities

(A sharing by Kokila, Saraoja amma and Rani, Thiruvannamalai Deepam AIDS Thaduppu Sangam)


Three members from a CBO of FSW in Thiruvannamalai visited a village to pass a Panchayat resolution against stigma and discrimination on PLHIV and on people who are vulnerable to HIV.

While they were addressing the villagers, the Village chairman said that there was a woman who was infected and they had isolated her from the village.  Then the three women insisted that they see that women and she was brought to them.  CBO members asked the villagers now that you all have understood the facts how do you want to respond to this person.  All the villagers said that they would accept the woman and help her.  The woman was not ready to take their words as it is.  CBO representatives were also not convinced. Then they asked the woman what she wants.  She replied saying that she does not need any food or commodities from the villagers but, she expected that they would stand by her side and not isolate her.  The villagers repeatedly explained that they will not isolated her but she insisted that she would believe their words if they ate the food she had cooked. She brought the food and gave smalls scoops of rice to the villagers including the village head and everyone ate the rice. From that day onwards she was very well treated by the villagers and there was no stigma and discrimination.

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Comment by M.L. Prabakar on April 26, 2011 at 12:56pm

Dear Dramane Keita, 

This is Kokila  and team responding to your appreciative and encouraging response.  

Thanks for encouraging us.  We are glad that you are also seeing similar responses and we are so happy to hear this.  We are also wanting to see more and more villages to respond in the same way.  This positive women about whom we had shared about is no more.  The entire village gathered to pay last rites to her. Our CBO had taken the responsibilty of her child.  Her son is now studying in a hostel. He is in his 3rd class. And it is also very sad that we also lost in an accident the Chairman who was so cooperative and set an example. People might come and go but the good impressions they had left behind will go a long way. 

We salute these noble hearts.

We thank all those who encourage us.  This is what that keeps us going. 

Kokila and team.      

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on April 19, 2011 at 3:46pm

[Dramane's response translated from French to English. I took help from Google translate. Rituu]


your experience is touching. and it is this same experience that we are currently implementing in Segou (Mali). Women have even RECEIVE PLWHA in their family and they all do this together with PLWHA (eat together, sleep together, drink from the same symbol etc. ..) these actions even get out of these PHAs 'shadow' any by developing self-esteem, a self affrmation etc. ..

Comment by dramane keita on April 19, 2011 at 3:12pm
votre experience est touchante. et c'est cette même experience que nous somme entrain de mettre en oeuvre à Ségou (Mali) . des femmes ont même acceuilli des PVVIH dans leur famille et elles font tous ensemble avec cette PVVIH (manger ensemble, dormir ensemble, boire dans le même bole etc..) ces actions ont même amener ces PVVIH à sortir de 'l'ombre" tout en developpant une estime de soi, une affrmation de soi etc..
Comment by M.L. Prabakar on April 18, 2011 at 12:35pm

Dear Dr. Rafique,


Very touching experience.  You had demonstrated by being the first person to publicly aknowledging what you had learnt and believe as facts about HIV / AIDS.  Usually I see doctors confining their interventions only to the  hospital environment but you had set an example by going to the social environment to address this issue. This intervetion can go a long way and lead to so many PLHAs being accepted my the working/ social community.

Great inspiring story.


Thanks and warm regards,


Comment by Dr. E. Mohamed Rafique on April 17, 2011 at 4:25pm

Dear Prabakar,

How ture! Nothing works better than a live demonstration.

Your story brings to my mind an experience I had more than a decade ago in the Tea estates where I worked then. One gang of Tea pluckers would not pluck tea with a patient of mine, as the members of the gang thought that he was infected with HIV, and that was why he was visiting me at the General Hospital all these years, regularly. I  got a frantic call from the Manager of that Tea estate to quickly sort things out and get the forty odd workers of that gang to pluck tea again.

So, I conducted a Link Worker's meeting where I invited most of the members of the gang, and demonstrated to them how HIV spreads and how it does not. At the end of the meeting, we all had tea and vadai served by the one who was supposed to be infected with HIV. Also, before leaving all of us shook hands with him. As he was my patient I was the first to give him a warm hug.


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