HIV/AIDS Support in Mumbai, India

Women's Empowerment International Foundation is partnering with Somaiya Action for HIV/AIDS Support (SAHAS) in an urgent intervention to rescue an HIV/AIDS Community Care Centre (CCC) from closure in 2012. The CCC, established in 2010 with support from the Karnatak Health Promotion Trust (KHPT), is located near the Pratiksha Nagar slums in Mumbai, India: it is one of the few facilities in Mumbai admitting and providing psychosocial and clinical care for poor HIV-infected persons and their families.

Mumbai has the second highest HIV infection rate and reports the highest number of HIV-related deaths in all of India. Nearly all of India's 240,000 HIV-infected men, women, and children live in povertyŚ isolated from their families, communities, and the health care they desperately need to stay alive. Without continuous treatment, HIV rapidly develops into full-blown AIDS, and victims fall host to deadly opportunistic infections such as oral thrush and tuberculosis (TB). The stigma associated with HIV leaves the infected and affected unemployed, desperate, and traumatized by the rejection endured from their families and communities. For the poorest HIV victims and their children, there is little hope for the future, and scarcely a hand to hold through this terrifying and often final stage of their lives.

On September 30th, 2012, support from SAHAS' implementing agency, the Karnatak Health Promotion Trust (KHPT) will cease and the Community Care Centre faces the serious risk of closure—leaving thousands of HIV-infected individuals once again alone in the fight for their lives. Even with past support, funding was erratic and inadequate, putting a strain on SAHAS' staff and services simply to keep the CCC doors open, let alone address the serious need for expansion to accommodate a growing clientele.

Your urgent support is needed: WEIF is requesting a total of $30,000 from our donors and friends to keep the Community Care Centre open for 1 year, until SAHAS can secure a stable funding source. By joining hands with WEIF, your generosity will save lives and offer a source of hope to thousands of men, women, and children infected and affected by this merciless disease. Their survival should not be determined by the timeliness of government programmes. Join us in the fight to protect the dignity and welfare of India's most desperate and vulnerable populations!

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