I came to know about this consultation on the Draft GIPA Guidelines through the AIDSspace platform. I have been recently diagnosed with HIV and my experiences in going through the blood banks, testing centres, and hospitals prompt me to write this response. A detailed account of what I faced can be read by visiting the link http://aidsspace.org/group/14/ and clicking on “Comments”.
Increase in social acceptance and getting rid of stigma cannot be done solely with GIPA. Education for HIV prevention and treatment through mass media is grossly inadequate. However there are several issues faced by PLHIV that should have improved, if there are effective mechanisms for GIPA. Why is it that we did not consider the experiences of PLHIV all these years in improving HIV programmes? Even after many years of its existence, the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) is not able to completely plug the deficits and ensure that PLHIV go through a hassle-free process in accessing services. I see a lot of NGOs, Development partners, and Networks of PLHIV on board in the Committees of NACO. I am sure they are all funded in one way or the other from various sources. However, I am not sure how far they had been successful in conveying to NACO the required information on needs and difficulties of PLHIV. As a positive person, I do not see if they have done much for PLHIV. If they have done, either it is not recognised or appreciated by the authorities, or the authorities do not have capacity or the required budget.
For me, GIPA should make difference in ensuring need-based and quality services for PHLIV. However, GIPA should not be restricted to the mere creation of some positions and jobs. And then, in the proposed Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for GIPA, there are just two members who are PLHIV. Why is it that we are not proposing the Secretary of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to be chosen from PLHIV? Such a move will let NACO demonstrate that there is no stigma and there is acceptance from the top hierarchy. The Draft Guidelines specifies that the technical committee meets twice or more depending on NACO’s decision. However, I feel that meetings, discussions, and debates should happen more frequently and regularly. In addition, decisions should be taken quickly and implemented. Having meetings just twice a year gives out an indication that we are not serious about GIPA.
We have already wasted opportunities over the years with the slow pace in our work. There is no denying that PLHIV will be the best to carry forward the work of NACO and other organisations. However, the question that remain is how much support and authority will they be given? The Draft says that “By involvement we mean that GIPA is meant for PLHIV and the ownership should be given to PLHIV.” Giving ownership to PLHIV will be great; though I have serious doubts. I am new to this, but I am sure there would have been voices raised by PLHIV in the past for various needs including health needs, insurance, privacy, and easy access to services. Are these voices not heard by NACO or is it because there is no support from development partners, or is it that civil society is not vocal? Such concerns need serious thinking.
The Draft GIPA Guidelines appear to be a wonderful and promising document. I hope it will not remain idle in shelves. I am optimistic and hope the finalisation and implementation based on the guidelines will bring fresh changes, and give new directions to prevent HIV, and improve the lives of PLHIV.
Person Living with HIV,
Its a much more complex process than you put it across as. DNA splicing can generate aberrations and mutations out of our control.Experimentation is the stepping stone,although jumping to enzymatic conclusions will not lead to perfection...
The motivation was survival of the human race and life on the planet.It will pave the way for phenomenal discoveries although most of the problems we face are man-made.
Another response that I get from email, however I will keep the anonymity of the person:
I'm an apolitical person.
Coruption in NACO/MSACS and purchase of faulty kits doing tests are subjudis matters in the court. After the UNAIDS investigation reports the GoM/GoI have not bother to provide any records of those people who have gone through the psychological trauma of results of these tests. You should take up this issue with LAwyers Collective and file a PIL to that effect."
But still saliva actually does not cause HIV infection. From my knowledge, the amount of HIV virus in saliva is so small that you have to drink 5 litres of saliva to get infected. The virtual image of this is enough to creep me out. Lol.
But definitely deep kissing can be a no no, as it might transfer HIV virus especially if the couple has bleeding gums and such. The first case reported, transmission of HIV through kissing, is in 1997. Take a look at this article: http://www.thebody.com/content/art2287.html
It's the same thing for sharing toothbrush, coz when we brush our teeth there might be some rubbing and tearing of the brush and our gums that cause bleeding.
But I don't think this deserves any paranoid response. Kissing is okay, just don't French kiss.
This is a real challenge for those who sufferer and for those who are working for the cause.I think Government is confused.One way they are talking about Stigma and Discrimination should stop.NACO is working for the same and other side respected Guardian Minister try to create discrimination.This is a advocacy issue.Please post your valuable comment.
Always use a condom during sex intercourse
Look at condom in a clinical manner, rather than a tabboo thing
Take regular HIV test if you think you are a person susceptible to high exposure of HIV
Education and literacy
Sex education in school