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PLHIV Seek To Protect Identity

LAMKA, May 17: Barely a year after the State Government promised to provide AAY card to all the people living with HIV (PLHIV), the Consortium of Positive People, Churachandpur (CPPC) has received the first installment of the cards, yet they are anxious over utilizing them as they fear it could inadvertently lead to their status becoming public.

“We are more than happy that the Government has started issuing AAY cards to PLHIV, but at the same time we are apprehensive of its practicality as it would amount to disclosing our status in public, unless a special provision comes along,” JK Lian President CPPC told The Sangai Express today.

Under the present practice the AAY card holders including the PLHIVs were to collect the PDS item from their local agent, but the CPPC said this will inadvertently lead to an exposure of their status in public.

“It will automatically be clear to the public, if a person whose family is well to do goes to collect the PDS items with an AAY card from the PDS agent, that he or she is a PLHIV. Same will be the case if two or more members from a family possess the AAY card,” he said.

Calling on the authority to consider ways to avoid the breach in confidentiality of their status while also ensuring that they get the benefit of their AAY cards, the CPPC President said utilizing the Consortium to distribute the PDS items, instead of the respective local agents, could be an option.

“Here (at the CPPC office) we know each other well but our status is confidential outside, so the PLHIV would have no reservation coming to us, but many of them are reluctant to approach the local PDS agent, as it would amount to exposing their status,” he insist adding, “unless the Government envisages a special provision for the PLHIV, I don’t think the Government’s intention will really benefit the target population.”

Records with the CPPC show that PLHIV have responded well to the AAY card offer of the Government as the new-applicant roster figure was already above 500. The CPPC has just received the AAY cards for the first set of 261 people, but in the course of distributing them they discovered the inevitable impediment which could very well back-fire on the Government’s noble policy.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express/ S Singlianmang Guite)

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