Single-window project to provide social protection for people with HIV

To facilitate social protection and deliver social entitlements for people living with HIV and communities vulnerable to HIV, Swasti, in association with National AIDS Control Organisation and Karnataka State AIDS Control Society, has launched a single-window project in four districts of Karnataka.

Called ‘Utkarsha', the project will be taken up on a pilot basis in Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Kolar and Chickballapur districts. It is being funded by United Nations Development Programme and supported by the State Department of Women and Child Development.

Giving details about the project, Hari Mohan, team leader for Swasti's Social Protection wing, told presspersons on Thursday that the project would facilitate HIV positive people gain access to various government schemes and services under a single window.

“Though there are many projects for HIV prevention, care and support, HIV positive people in the State still find it extremely difficult to gain employment or access government services due to stigma associated with HIV,” he said.

He said the nine-month pilot project would provide social protection and help mainstream communities vulnerable to HIV and affected by HIV.

Saroja Putran, who heads the HIV positive network in Karnataka, said the government had to work closely with NGOs and networks to provide and help these vulnerable communities gain access to social entitlements.

“It is important for the government to spread the information about the different schemes through non-governmental organisations,” said Ms. Saroja, who will look after the project in Bangalore Urban and Rural districts.

The State's two big projects of support and care for HIV positive people — Samastha, funded by USAID, and Avahan, funded by Gates Foundation — have come to an end now.

“Many other prevention programmes by the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust and others are being transitioned to the State government. Under such a scenario, this project is a big boost to the positive community,” Ms. Saroja added.

It will be launched on a pilot basis in four districts

Scheme will help HIV positive people gain access to schemes