Staff Reporter

The plight begins from family and spreads to society

KARUR: From depravation to ostracism through neglect, people living with HIV/AIDS have to bear the brunt of societal onslaught. The plight unfortunately begins from the family and spreads to society, rued many such unfortunate persons at a workshop organized here on Friday to share their anguish.

The Gramium-sponsored District Level Advocacy Meeting on care and treatment of the People Living with HIV/AIDS saw many come out with disturbing social views on the HIV/AIDS affected. If the suffering inflicted by the syndrome has had a devastating effect on the persons then the stigma with which they had to pull on only add to the misery, many of the participants concurred. Society should take a lenient view on our unfortunate position, they pleaded.

A HIV/AIDS afflicted youth from Mamarathupatti village wondered whether a woman affected by HIV who was sought to be divorced by her husband could seek legal recourse, for which a legal specialist replied that there was provision for relief and alimony. When a woman from Melavadhiyam stated that villagers and her neighbours were forcing a social ostracism on her by forcing her to move out of the village, she was told to approach the police if threatened with boycott or eviction. If no action came forth then she could move the State Human Rights Commission, she was told.

Many women affected by HIV/AIDS bitterly complained that it was the neglect of their own family members that hurt them the most. Social stigma and ostracism we could bear but not the neglect and taunts of our own families, they said. Swaminathan of SAATHII pointed out that HIV/AIDS was just like any other health problem.

Time should come when people living with HIV would be treated as normal by the rest of the society. Medical and paramedical staff manning the primary health centers in Karur have been trained in dealing with the HIV/AIDS affected patients and have been told of the need to provide proper counselling to them.

Gramium Director P. Narayanan presided over the meeting and detailed the various steps his voluntary organization was taking to ameliorate the sufferings of the people living with HIV. President of the Karur District Association for People Living with HIV/AIDS K. Padmavathy, APAC district officer Ilangovan, Gramium-APAC coordinator Senthil Kumar and Social Nurse S. Juliet spoke.