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Now, marriage bureau for HIV affected

S. Ganesan

TIRUCHI: HIV positive people, looking for life partners, need not end up a blind alley any longer. Help is at hand.

A Tiruchi-based voluntary organisation, Anbalayam, has floated an exclusive marriage information bureau for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) positive people. The organisation, which has been working for AIDS prevention, has decided to compile a data base of HIV positive persons to offer match-making service for them.

The initiative is as an attempt to prevent the spread of HIV through matrimony. “Our experience shows that a majority of HIV positive young women have been infected through their husbands. Many youth, even if they know they are positive, give into pressure from the family and get married. The spouse often ends up an unsuspecting victim. We hope to check this trend by giving HIV positive youths an opportunity to identify a suitable partner,” T.K.S. Senthil Kumar, founder director, Anbalayam, told The Hindu.

And the bureau registry received four entries, including three girls, on the opening day on Friday. The details of people registered with the bureau would be kept strictly confidential.

“There are many HIV positive persons looking to get married. There are widows and widowers too looking to start life afresh. But the social stigma gives them little chance of realising their wish. We want to help them through a State-wide network. The bureau is probably the first of its kind in Tamil Nadu,” said Mr. Senthil Kumar, a strong votary of making pre-marital HIV test compulsory for youth.

He hoped that the initiative would encourage youngsters to come forward to test themselves.

Inaugurating the bureau, M. Vijayalakshmi, president, HIV Positive People Network, made a strong case for youth going in for voluntary testing before marriage.

The bureau can be contacted at 0431-2333102/9443167607.

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