Beyond Stigma: Persons Living with HIV/AIDS and Their Problems
Background: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In India, National AIDS Control and Organization (NACO) is primary concern Governmental agency which is deal with it in phase wise manner. During the all four phases of national AIDS control programme (NACP) concentration has been drawn on creation of amiable environment for persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) by spreading awareness about different aspects of HIV/AIDS, reduction in high risk behaviour, (safe sex, usage of disposable syringes), free test of HIV infection and distribution of Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART). All these efforts have their own advantage but still, the needs of PLHA are not fully met. They are many changes need to overcome yet, stigma is the biggest one and many others are increasing the problems of PLHA which have not been addressed adequately till date. This situation has been discussed in the paper. Methodology: Primary data has been collected from 213 respondents along with some secondary sources. Interview schedule and an interview guide were used as a tool. Result: This study reflects that despite the four complete phases of NACP the problem of PLHA has not been addressed in a holistic way. Concentration has been drawn mainly on the medical/clinical background of HIV/AIDS. The level of awareness among PLHA about ongoing programs is not very much good in condition. Particularly female PLHA and PLHA who were residing in remote areas like rural or slum had poor access to awareness. But the condition of PLHA who were well educated, belonging to a sound economic background, a resident of the urban or semi-urban area was also not better and had been found to be dissatisfied with arrangements. Conclusion: In the field of prevention and control of HIV/AIDS the role of NACO cannot be ignored. Because of the vigorous effort of NACO, the rate of new HIV infection has declined and in many parts has stabilized almost. This achievement does not permit us to ignore the diverse nature of needs, requirements and problems of the existing population of PLHA. In Indian health care system, in terms of a power relationship, PLHA share a subordinate position in which due to the absence of a bilateral interaction and unequal participation, they get less attention. Different nature of their problem has not been given adequate recognition but attention has been drawn on the medical/clinical background of HIV/AIDS. For that social difference, administrative negation is responsible. Therefore PLHA is the victim of poor pathological, biological condition and social arrangements that have victimized them in multiple ways.
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