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Home Year 2010 HIV-Positive Couple Renew Pledge to Raise Awareness

HIV-Positive Couple Renew Pledge to Raise Awareness

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Times of India
02 December 2010
By Minakshi Rao

Varsha and Jayesh Vala have been running an NGO that supports the infected for the past 15 years
Jayesh, Varsha were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS 15 years ago. Since then, they have been helping people like them lead normal lives

Jayesh, Varsha were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS 15 years ago. Since then, they have been helping people like them lead normal lives

On a day when people around the globe observed ‘World AIDS Day’, an HIVpositive couple – Varsha and Jayesh Vala – renewed their commitment to support people affected by the disease and spread awareness in society. Every year, December 1 is observed as ‘World AIDS Day’. A host of activities and events are organised this day to emphasise on the importance of prevention and the need for people to show greater sensitivity.

Reaching Out
VARSHA AND Jayesh were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS 15 years ago. Since then, they have been running an NGO, Aadhar Charitable Trust, to help people like them overcome depression and lead normal lives. In fact, during this year’s Navratri, they organised a garba event for HIVpositive people.

When the Valas started Aadhar, which provides education, counselling and medical support to the infected, in 1995, only eight HIV–positive people joined as members. In 2005, this number grew to 250. This year, it has reached 1,600. These members now encourage others to overcome fear of society and seek assistance.

HIV-Positive Couple Renew Pledge to Raise Awareness
Jagdish Vadhvana, a consultant with AIDS Control Society, said that though there was greater awareness about the disease among people, more needed to be done. "There are now 100 organisations, including NGOs, in Gujarat that are fighting the disease," he said.

Organisations working on AIDS/HIV–related issues focus on three groups: core group, bridge population and general population.

Core group comprises highrisk people such as sex workers. The second one includes people like drivers of truck, taxi and autos.

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