India is a country with diversified culture and social systems, but it is still gripples with taboos and misconceptions about HIV/AIDS. The fight against HIV, particularly in rural areas, becomes more pronounced because of stigma and discrimination, resulting in poor access to healthcare and other livelihood services. In rural areas, women with HIV are often accused of moral corruption as many believe that HIV is a disease associated with sex workers and truck drivers. With most of them having little education and seldom having jobs, these women face many socio-economic challenges.
To empower women living and associated with HIV and reduce HIV stigma and discrimination in rural India, Yerala Projects Society (YPS) launched the ‘Mixed Women Micro-Credit Support Groups’ for ‘Sustained Livelihoods’ in Maharashtra, India, a province with high HIV prevalence.
Yerala Projects Society is a registered not-for-profit charitable organisation working in India since 1976. YPS is working in partnership with – Central and State Governments, national and international donor organizations, consulates, corporates, individuals and community. Since 2002, YPS is engaged in HIV/AIDS primary prevention and control, reducing social stigma and discrimination, the empowerment and sustainable livelihoods for people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.