Story Of Akshara: A Hope For Tomorrow
Akshara (name changed to maintain confidentiality) is an eight-year-old girl living with HIV. She lost her parents to AIDS some years back and started living with her brother and sister in their paternal uncle’s house. Her brother, who was younger than Akshara, passed away recently from AIDS. Now, she and her sister are the sole surviving members of the family. As soon as the brother passed away, Akshara and her sister were thrown out of their relative’s house as the extended family refused to support the sisters. With neither shelter, education nor nutritional support, they were left bereft and helpless. Fortunately, our Care and Support Center (CSC) in Raipur came ahead to support, and immediately they were referred to the Child Welfare Committee of Raipur and through them to a shelter home at Mana, Raipur. The CSC continually provides counselling to these girls for treatment adherence and healthy living.
Problem: In India, young and adolescent girls remain vulnerable to gender-based biases and discrimination. Some of the common problems they face are malnutrition, child marriage and lack of access to education and healthcare. Seen as a liability, families want to get rid of the girl child. Up to 12 million girls were aborted over the last three decades in India. (Research Journal, The Lancet)
The situation is doubly difficult for girls living with HIV in India. As access to services becomes difficult, higher risk of HIV-related morbidity and mortality is experienced. Many of them have been forced to become caregivers for their sick parents or younger siblings or even the head of household when they are orphaned by the epidemic, along with their younger siblings.
Solution: End AIDS India’s partner organisation IndiaHIV/AIDS Alliance works closely with girls living with HIV to increase their treatment adherence, reduce stigma and discrimination against them, and improve their well-being. Help us build a society wherein girl children are protected, revered and loved; a society that is truly equal.
Impact: The programme has been instrumental in ensuring that 72,801 (up to the age of 18 years) children living with HIV, of which 32,156 (44%) are girls, are able to access quality care and support services. Also among all the girls registered under our programme, approximately 80%, are being able to access education services.
Effective treatment, care, and support for girls living with HIV will not only save their lives but will also protect the society by reducing the risk of new infections. This project will encourage health-seeking behaviour among the 30 HIV+ girls.
Outcome: Immediate outcome from this project will be improved knowledge on HIV prevention and continuum of care services among girls living with HIV, greater adherence to treatment and better ability to make healthy choices about their future. Girls living with HIV will act as change agents and volunteers in their local community thus improving HIV awareness and reducing stigma and discrimination.
Total Program Cost= INR 252000 (8400 per girl child)
Program Cost Break Up:
Cost per child per year (INR)
|Health and Nutrition Support||Access to treatment and nutrition support for children living with HIV.|
|Education Support||Access to formal education and vocational training for children living with HIV.|
|Administrative Expenses||It includes travel support, part-time staff support, peer support group meetings etc.|
Total Cost of sponsoring access to healthcare, nutrition and education for 30 girls living with HIV for a year
About End AIDS India:
End AIDS India is a national non-profit campaign by five trusted Indian NGOs that work collectively to accelerate the response to the HIV epidemic in our country. The campaign raises funding to PREVENT the spread of HIV, extend access to CARE by ensuring availability of health services for people living with HIV and EMPOWER those vulnerable and affected by the epidemic to live with dignity in an environment without stigma and discrimination.
Our Goal is to achieve Zero new HIV infections, Zero AIDS-related deaths and Zero stigma and discrimination for people living with HIV by 2030.