NGO launches a nationwide initiative to raise awareness about the increasing incidents of AIDS/HIV discrimination.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the global AIDS organisation, teamed up with its partners at AHF-India Cares to raise public awareness about the increasing incidents of discrimination being meted out to the HIV-infected students in schools.
The organisation has decided to gather support from the peer organisations and other stakeholders and reach the authorities at the highest level by way of representations and policy interventions for ensuring a fair deal to the thousands of students who have tested HIV positive.
AHF India country programme manager Shibu Cheruvelil said: "Ignorance displayed by this teacher and school officials in Madurai in this case is simply unacceptable."
Calling for a nationwide movement to raise awareness levels among the public, he said it was not an aberration as similar cases were being reported from different parts of India and other Asian countries.
"This was a decision fuelled by prejudice and fear. We denounce this illegal and repugnant discrimination and immediately ask officials in Madurai and throughout India to institute policies to protect such children from stigmatisation and humiliation," he said.
According to UN, India has an estimated 220,000 children infected by HIV/AIDS.