A delegation from the Positive Women's Network in India visited UNODC on October 6, 2009.
The purpose of the visit was to provide an understanding of the different dimensions of greater involvement of People (GIPA) living with HIV and AIDS within the UN Agencies. The delegation was led by the President of the Network - Ms. Koushalya Periasamy. The meeting had representatives from Positive Women Network of Maharashtra, Kerala, Manipur, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Chennai. A brief presentation on ROSA projects in India and the current engagement of the projects with the national and the state level Positive Women's Network, specifically the strategies adopted to ensure GIPA by
Project RAS/H13 "Prevention of transmission of HIV among drug users in SAARC countries" and
IND/I81 "HIV/AIDS Project in Four North-eastern States of India", was given. The experiences of self help group set up under Project
I/49 "Reducing Substance Use Related HIV Vulnerability in Female Drug Users and Female Partners of Male Drug Users in India" and
IND/G86 "Empowering Communities for Prevention of Drugs and HIV in India", was also presented.
The president of the Positive Women's Network, Ms. Kousalya Periasamy, appreciated the efforts of the collaboration between H13 and PWN+ that resulted in outreach to more than 500 women living or affected with HIV in India; either drug users themselves or partners of male drug users. The project's capacity building strategy on HIV Care and Support issues for women for both male and female peer volunteers from its partner agencies as well as for the PWN+ key contacts placed at its mentor agencies was shared as an example of "good practice". Furthermore, to foster and facilitate GIPA, PWN+ is also a key stakeholder on the Project's Steering Committee.
The Project team of Project
IND I/81" HIV/AIDS Project in Four North-eastern States of India" has been working in close collaboration with the Meghalaya State Network of Positive People (MSNP+) to ensure greater involvement and representation of people living with HIV/AIDS at all decision making levels in the state. The specific focus of this collaboration has been to promote an environment where women living with HIV/AIDS are guaranteed the right to education, right to employment, equal wages and quality child care, the right to choose spouse, number of children and methods of contraception, etc.
The network representatives from Manipur and Nagaland requested UNODC's technical assistance in helping them to set up self-help groups for Income Generation Programmes for women affected and infected by AIDS to deal with the economic impact.