To draw strength from each other and fight social stigma, HIV carriers in Jharkhand have formed an association .
The Jharkhand Network for People Living with HIV has 200 members. More are likely to join. The association will educate people to treat HIV carriers in a humane manner. It will also seek assistance from the government to ensure adequate healthcare facilities and proper accommodation for the infected.
'Driving out HIV infected people from homes is not a solution. It is not easy to fight the disease in isolation.
Dubey, 25, has been living with the disease for eight years.
An association spokeswoman told IANS: 'We hope the organisation will help change the mindset of people. At times even the doctors treat us badly.'
'When a dentist learnt I was a HIV carrier he refused to treat me,' she said.
In Jharkhand, two patients - a pregnant woman and a truck driver - were denied treatment when the hospital learnt they were HIV carriers.
As per official estimates, there are about a thousand HIV carriers in Jharkhand. About 30 deaths have been reported in the state.