Saturday, Dec 04, 2004
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By Bindu Shajan Perappadan
NEW DELHI, DEC. 3. A unique group of women would be coming together here in the Capital later this month to talk about their day-to-day struggles of living with AIDS and of the changes in the health policy that they want the government to bring about to help them lead a life of dignity.
But far from a being a weepy kitty party, the 120 HIV positive women from 16 States who will get together for the National Consultation on Women Living with AIDS, will talk about their troubles and how they are coping with the day-to-day life and the stigma that the ailment brings along.
Using the platform, the women will also try and impress on the government the need for more "people friendly'' policies pertaining to health that would benefit the women and their children in the long run.
The three-day programme being organised in joint collaboration with the Positive Women's Network, Chennai; National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO); Indian Network for People Living with HIV and the Joint UN System, begins in the Capital on December 7.
First of its kind to be held for women, the programme will encourage dialogue, give HIV positive women their space and also talk to the government about taking a more sensitive look at the problems that they face each day.
Attending the meeting would be women from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Orissa, Manipur, Nagaland, West Bengal, and Punjab besides other States.
"The impact of the epidemic on women requires a concerted effort on the part of all government agencies.
This National Consultation seeks to achieve a deeper understanding of the issues of women living with HIV and to advocate with various government departments on strategies needed to address these concerns.
With the Positive Women's Network having gone national in its scope and this year's World AIDS Campaign theme being `Women and HIV/AIDS', this consultation marks the beginning of a strengthened response towards women and AIDS,'' said an organiser.
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