Special Correspondent

Hyderabad: It is a double blow to them. Already stigmatised and leading a life of misery, they have now lost their jobs as well. Nearly 1,500 HIV and AIDS affected persons involved in the outreach programmes in the State have been rendered jobless with the National Aids Control Society scrapping the donor assisted programmes.

They were playing a key role in PPTC and HIV/TB outreach programmes by providing information and assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS during the last four years. But on March 31 their services were terminated with the Global Fund, which assists the programme, deciding to hand it over to ILFS.

Hundreds of workers under the banner of Telugu Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS staged a dharna before the office of the A.P. State Aids Control Society here on Wednesday demanding their reinstatement.

Sporting black badges they raised slogans demanding justice. They wanted the outreach programmes to be continued as their survival had become difficult after loss of job.

The PPTC outreach workers were paid remuneration of Rs. 3,500 per month while the HIV/TB workers Rs. 2,750.

R.V. Chandravadan, Project Director, APSACS, expressed his inability to help them since the Global Fund had decided to involve the ILFS to implement the programme as part of corporate social responsibility. As a result outreach workers were affected not only in Andhra Pradesh but nationwide.