IMPHAL, Sept 28 � A State-level Convention for Women Living with HIV & AIDS (WLHIVA) has appealed for Manipur Cabinet approval of State AIDS Policy. It may be mentioned that the State AIDS Policy was adopted in 1996 by Manipur to make it the only State in India to have a State AIDS policy.
The Convention was organised by Women Action for Development (WAD) and Christian Network of Positive Women, Manipur under the WAD HIV/AIDS Programme on the second day of the 6th Biennial Conference of CNPW-Manipur here today. The Convention appealed for extension of MLA local area development fund to the WLHIVA and ensure departmental schemes and benefits to the PLHIVs in the State besides other life skill development programmes for PLHIV.
The convention was aimed at increasing knowledge and skills among the WLHIVA and generate income among the WLHIVA for sustainable livelihood, health, etc., impart discipline to respect each other besides enhancing the knowledge about tapping of locally available resources and benefits.
Manipur with barely 0.2 per cent of India�s population contributes eight per cent of India�s total HIV positive cases. It is also one of the six high prevalence States in India with HIV prevalence rate among pregnant women attending ANC being 1.4 per cent, according to Sentinel Surveillance report 2006.
Manipur State AIDS Control Society (MACS) Deputy Director Abhiram Mongjam, Manipur Network of Positive people Secretary Udita Salam and WAD Secretary Sobita Mangsatabam attended the convention.
Abhiram Mongjam stressed about the need to update and upgrade the skills and livelihood means of the PLHIVs. Abhiram also narrated the initiations made by MACS on Care & Support under RIAC, and launching of ART since 2004.
In her presidential address, Sobita Mangsatabam expressed pleasure on learning of the decrease in new HIV infection. She narrated the success story of Ranita the blind entrepreneur and Ajay who suffered from serious ailments due to the virus and lack of access to ART.