Formation of Community Organisation for PLHIV to advocate for rights

Anbu Karankal (“Loving Hands”) Positive Women’s Support Group

In 2002, Siaap helped initiate Anbu Karangal Pengal Paadukappu Urimai Sangam (AK), a network of HIV-positive women in Namakkal district, which has one of the highest HIV seropositivity rates in Tamil Nadu. The objective of promoting this network was to enable positive women, many of whom were widows and single parents, to advocate for their rights. Recognising the role of gender in contributing to the epidemic, they strategically included men and youth in a primary way in their intervention. Their membership stands at over a 100 women today.The services provided by Anbu Karankal include:

  • Home-based care
  • Community advocacy, such as advocacy for ART
  • Marriage counselling
  • Referrals to HIV/AIDs-related services
  • Family sensitization
  • Sensitization of panchayats, for example with regard to property claims
  • Provision of legal services
  • Testing and counselling
  • Education around reproductive health and sexuality issues.