HIV is the world’s leading infectious killer. According to World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 39 million people have died since the first cases were reported in 1981 and 35 million people worldwide still live with HIV/AIDS of which 19 million remain unaware of their infected status.
India has the third largest HIV epidemic in the world with 2.1 million people living with the disease and 1, 30, 000 deaths related to AIDS reported in 2013. HIV has become one of the worlds' most rampant and severe health challenges. Most people living with HIV or at risk for HIV do not have access to information regarding its diagnoses, prevention, treatment and care. HIV not only affects the health of individuals but has a collective impact on families, households, communities, and the economic development of a nation.
The main factors that contribute to India’s large HIV infected population are: extensive labour migration, low literacy levels, gender disparity, intravenous drug usage and sex work. The focus areas of HPPI’s intervention are female sex workers and migrant workers due to their insufficient awareness of HIV/AIDS, low risk perception and lack of economic and social security.
HPPI has been associated with HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs since its inception in 1998 and has reached seven states across India including Rajasthan, Haryana, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Pondicherry. HPPI’s HIV & AIDS programs have benefitted more than 1.8 million people directly and 4.96 million indirectly in the last 15 years. HPPI had worked with both government and private agencies to bring about maximum impact. Two programs successfully run by HPPI are:
- Hope Centres: The Hope Centres have adopted the Targeted Intervention approach of National AIDS Control Programme of India and aims to curb HIV transmission among high-risk groups like female sex workers and migrant workers through behaviour change communication (BCC), condom promotion, management of sexually transmitted infections and creating an enabling environment. Currently, two Hope projects are operational in Delhi and Haryana, reaching out to more than 1,000 sex workers and 10,000 migrants.
- Total Control of the Epidemic (TCE): Started in 2006, TCE is a community mobilization programme focused on preventing HIV transmission and empowering people to liberate them from this epidemic. Under this strategy, the field workers of HPPI visit every household of the operational area; help the household members to assess their risk to HIV transmission along with motivating and mobilizing them to go for HIV testing. Currently, the TCE strategy is being applied in five projects run by HPPI in the states of Delhi, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. In Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the principles of TCE are being applied in the Link Worker Programme.
HPPI has a community based outreach strategy to address HIV prevention, treatment and care. These programs also provide information and awareness on STI prevention and diagnoses, linkages with government schemes, testing and counselling services and referrals for treatment.
Read more about recent developments in HPPI's Health initiatives in Annual Report 2014-15