As honorary chair, I am very pleased to welcome you to this exciting End AIDS India campaign.
End AIDS India is a unique endeavour that is harnessing the power of five respected NGOs in India, which work collectively on various aspects of the response to the HIV/AIDS in our country.
Our campaign has a bold vision to end HIV and AIDS in India, and the wide-ranging impacts of that epidemic on all sectors of Indian society.
That goal may seem a little audacious but not unrealistic.Today India has the right combination of policies, programmes and community participation to achieve this goal. I am therefore confident that together our efforts will rapidly gain strength and prove more powerful than we can ever imagine.
As a former Director of India’s National AIDS Control Organisation and as the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for AIDS in Asia Pacific, I have seen first-hand the physical, mental and emotional suffering of those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. It has come at an enormous cost to individuals, families, communities and India as a whole.
Fortunately I’ve also had the good fortune of seeing the great strides we’ve made in the last two decades. Rates of infection are slowing and new drug therapies, where available, are ensuring a better quality of life for those who are HIV-positive. Public attitudes towards affected communities and those living with HIV are incrementally starting to shift though stigma and discrimination are still very real issues for many.
The reality is that more than 25 lakhs Indians are HIV-positive. And based on the most recent statistics, about 1.5 lakh Indians died of AIDS-related causes. As well, some regions of India are still seeing troubling rates of infection. In short, our work is far from finished.
We all need to be part of the response to HIV/AIDS in India – government, non-governmental organisations, corporates and family and friends. The End AIDS India campaign provides you a powerful way to get involved and show that you care.
Choose to be part of the solution and join our movement. Please give generously, stay in touch and share information about the campaign through your networks.