In an era when lack of information coupled by social prejudices
prompted avoidance and sub-human treatment of people living with
HIV/AIDS, 12 men and women chose not to keep their HIV status a
secret and resolved to put up a fight against the forces that strove
to crush their spirit. These 12 bold men and women decided to go on
a journey; a journey that began with 1 major step, a step that would
change the face of HIV/AIDS in India and bring fresh hope to many
who had given up hope.
The genesis (1994-1997)
The idea of forming an association of PLHIV was born in 1994 and
after several informal meetings. The 12 men and women living with
HIV converged in Chennai on February 20, 1997 to form the Indian
Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS. In April 1997, INP+ presented its activities and issues in the Social
Development Fair held in New Delhi. As members shared their personal
testimonies, many misconceptions among the public regarding HIV/AIDS
were removed. At the 4th International AIDS Congress in Asia and
Pacific in Manila (Philippines), INP+ had the opportunity to start
networking with other like-minded organizations and donor agencies.
The struggle and growth (1998-2001)
In 1998 INP+ members attended the 12th World AIDS conference. INP+
expanded its work by establishing
State Level Networks across India.
Many donor agencies identified the activities of INP+ and extended
support. In August 1999 INP+ conducted a needs assessment study
among PLHIV focusing on the Stigma and Discrimination faced by PLHIV
in India and eventually Greater Involvement of People living with
HIV/AIDS (GIPA) became the prime principle of INP+. To meet new
challenges, INP+ changed its structure to a more suitable and
flexible one by creating a secretariat with a National Coordinator.
The general Board was
formed on the basis of democratic principles and the byelaws were
formulated. Representatives of the
SLNs came together to make
decisions on major issues affecting them.
By 2000, INP+ membership had grown rapidly from 12 to 1000 members
in 14 states. In this period INP+ became more assertive and started
demanding for their rights in the form of accessibility to Anti
retro viral drugs.
The recognition (2001 onwards)
In 2002, Mr K.K. Abraham took over as president and streamlined
the activities of the organization into the
triangular model of Advocacy,
and Service Delivery.
INP+ got representation in the UN Theme group Country Coordinating
Mechanism (CCM) for the Global fund. INP+ began receiving
recognition by the International HIV/AIDS community and became a
member of the Global Network of Positive People, International
Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW) and Asia Pacific
Network of Positive People (APN+). In 2002, INP+ developed its 1st
strategic plan, incorporating vision, mission and