In 1986 when I began as the pioneer physician doing clinical management of patients living with HIV in India, we were struggling to convince fellow faculties to extend their expertise in our mission to effectively manage HIV patients without discrimination or isolation. At the time, G.T. Hospital Grant Medical College (a government owned teaching hospital in Mumbai) received HIV patients from around Mumbai and the rest of the country as there was hardly anyone willing to care for HIV patients because of stigma and fear. Since then, I am proud to say that the stigma and attitudes of healthcare providers and the society as a whole have markedly improved with great acceptance. Still there is work to be done to ensure all patients living with HIV are treated with care free of stigma and discrimination in the clinic and the society - achieving this is a critical step to reaching the 90-90-90 global targets - but I am certain we can get there in Mumbai.
Community Leadership Messages
“I started my activist days at the young age of 18 at a time when hardly anyone spoke about it openly. It has been a tough journey but one with huge amounts of support from agencies like The Humsafar Trust in India or international agencies like APCOM, Youth Lead, Y+, Youth Voices Count.”
"In Mumbai, policy makers have implemented evidence based programming & the city has witnessed a significant decline in new HIV infections among key populations."