In the Indian city of Hyderabad, SolidarMed works with its local partner organisation to allow children and adolescents from poor families affected by HIV to live a dignified life.
India – one of the most populous countries on Earth – is not the first place that springs to mind when we think about HIV and AIDS. Yet, in absolute terms, the country is home to 2.3 million HIV-positive people, which puts it in third place worldwide, after South Africa and Nigeria. This equates to a prevalence rate of 0.2%.
India in numbers
145 deaths per 100,000 live births
Under-5 mortality rate
33 deaths per 1,000 live births
Doctors per 10,000 population
7.4 (Switzerland: 44)
SolidarMed in India
Children and adolescents from poor backgrounds who are affected by HIV in India often do not get the support they need to live a dignified life. SolidarMed therefore works with its local partner, the John Foundation, to help these children and adolescents in India’s fourth-largest city, Hyderabad.
Great stigma attached to HIV/AIDS
Levels of HIV are particularly high in ‘bridge populations’ or high-risk groups, such as the families of long-distance truck drivers and migrant workers, and among prostitutes. In these high-risk groups, prevalence is as high as in southern Africa. But those who are HIV positive in India have an even harder time as there is greater stigma around HIV than in Africa, and treatment of HIV sufferers is not as good.
Access to a safe space and to education
Children whose HIV-positive parents are no longer able to look after them, or whose parents have died of AIDS, are taken into a residential centre. The centre provides children with medical care and psychological support if they need it. Children from families in financial difficulty get help to cover school fees, uniform, books and exam fees.
Children and adolescents who have had to drop out of school get the care and professional support they need to be able to complete their schooling. Daily help with homework in three homework support centres is key to the children’s academic success and significantly improves school performance.
Programmes Zambia, South Africa, Kenya, India
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Handover of the project
SolidarMed’s local partner, John Foundation, is a large, successful and well-connected NGO. The organisation is currently extending its activities to a third training campus and additional residential centres, and in future will no longer be reliant on SolidarMed’s support. We will therefore continue to support the children and adolescents who are already in school until 2027, after which point we will be withdrawing from this project area.