Ch. Sulochana Devi (name not changed), at 40 is a seasoned counsellor at FXB India Suraksha Care and Support Centre in East Imphal, Manipur in North East India. In 2004 when she came into contact with FXB India Suraksha she felt lost due to the debilitating social rejection.
She got married in 1994, and soon after had a son. Unfortunately, due to multiple medical complications her son died at infancy and her husband, Chaoba, relapsed into IDU (Inject drug user). In June, 1998, when her husband lost the fight against HIV and Sulochana had her second child, she herself was diagnosed as HIV positive. Living in a remote, conflict ridden society with poor health care facilities and little information, she had a gruelling time providing for her children.
At FXB India Suraksha she was counseled and she slowly realized there are many like her and was referred to the Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) center in 2004. Within a year she started recovering and joined FXBIS as an outreach worker.
After, four years of her hard work, Sulochana was promoted as social worker and she was instrumental in making FXB Village Programme (FXB India Suraksha flagship programme) a success, and played as a role model caregiver. Her daughter, Goldy, 17 years, is doing well in her studies and studies in class 12th standard.
Stigmatisation of people living with HIV/Aids creates a vicious circle of discrimination and social exclusion. The concept of reciprocity explains the phenomenon as a result of the perceived social cost associated with the inclusion of People Living with HIV/Aids. As individuals draw upon societal resources like healthcare and education they have an obligation to supplement the same resources through taxation and other means. Upon failure to do so the individual is held to have violated that social trust and indicates a high cost to the community of maintaining the person or group.
People Living with HIV/Aids are routinely excluded from social processes because they are judged to be too costly for the community. This is particularly rampant in societies with limited resources, in conflict ridden areas and is also intensely discriminatory against women. At FXB India Suraksha, rehabilitation of the People Living with HIV/Aids is an important aspect and fundamental to the success of its Care and Support Programme.
Today Sulochana is a counselor who takes care of the affected/infected women group, with herself surviving the poverty and fighting the disease for 15 years.