Journals from Jan Term Health Care in India
2011-01-11 Serving the HIV/AIDS Population in Chennai, India
Y.R.G. Center for AIDS Research and Education, Chennai, India
After arriving at the airport in Chennai, India, we were out into the humidity and traffic to visit the Y.R.G. Center for AIDS Research and Education (CARE). The Y.R.G. CARE was established in 1993 by Dr. Suniti Solomon after her research documented the first confirmed cases of HIV in India. When the center was first established, Dr. Solomon and her colleagues rented a one-bedroom apartment for their clinic, but in the years since, CARE has grown into a clinic which serves thousands of people, with many departments including counseling, a laboratory, and treatment clinic. One aspect of the work that Y.R.G. CARE has done that really impressed me is the extent to which they are working to educate and change the societal perception of HIV/AIDS. They’ve implemented realistic education programs in schools across the country, and they’ve also expanded the services offered at the clinic to include treatment of other diseases such as diabetes and hepatitis. By educating people about HIV/AIDS and treating the disease and those affected by it with respect helps to reduce the social stigma of the disease in Indian society and helps to improve the quality of life of people affected by HIV/AIDS.