Site 1: Purasaiwalkan
Site 2:
Site 3:
Gujarat Earthquake
PURASAIWALKAN, Tamilnadu State, India
Site 1: Chennai Integrated HIV/AIDS Care (CIHAC) project’s drop-in center.
The drop-in center is for people who think they have been exposed to the HIV virus. This center was started to assist women and children who suspect that they might be infected. Because of the taboo nature of the topic, the clinic had no drop-ins for the first three weeks it was operational.

I was most inspired by Dr. Punitha, a young female psychiatrist who runs the AIDS
testing and counseling facility and is in charge of the health and well-being of the
women and children in the home. She is an intelligent, articulate, compassionate,
and competent professional on the frontlines of this potential epidemic in India.
She understands the extent and impact of the problem, but works with each
person one-on-one, catering to their individual needs. She counsels women who
have found themselves infected, often by their husbands, as they break the news
to their families in this very traditional society. She described the daily decisions
about allocating the very limited supply of anti-retroviral drugs, trying to keep
parents healthy so that their children are not orphaned.

The model used by World Vision in India is one of treating the disease and
providing health education in the context of the unique needs and constraints of
each individual. The target is for each person to become reintegrated into their
communities and re-enter the mainstream population.

AIDS is a disease that everyone agrees is spreading in India— although the rate of spread is controversial. Because the disease is not reportable, reliable numbers are not available. However, what is broadly agreed on is that grassroots efforts like Dr. Punitha’s are crucial to understanding the nature and causes for the spread of the disease, and to develop countermeasures.

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