HIV Sensitive Social Protection: A Four State Utilisation Study

26 Aug 2011
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Summary

This report has analyzed the efforts, opportunities and challenges experienced by PLHIV in the utilization of schemes pertaining to food, transportation, pensions, housing, education and employment generation in the states of Gujarat, Orissa, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.


Evidence indicates that HIV households struggle and cope with risks by reducing consumption on essential items including food, borrowing from moneylenders (often at very high interest rates), extended hours of work by women and children or a complete dependence on other family members or NGOs. The situation of vulnerability is also accentuated for a woman irrespective of her being a widow a sex worker, partner of injecting drug user or living with HIV herself. According to UNDP 2009 `HIV and women's inheritance and property rights’ study, women who are denied their right to inheritance and property are at heightened risk to sexual exploitation, violence and HIV.

The social and economic impact is also more pronounced on women and households headed by HIV widows -whether they are themselves living with HIV or not. Extending social protection to PLHIVs through the State led poverty alleviation programmes, to cope with the risks is receiving attention both at the global and national level. National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), with technical support from UNDP, has forged multi-sectoral collaborations with government ministries and has advocated for amendment or adaptation of policies and schemes for social protection of people living with and affected by HIV.

Against this backdrop, this study presents a situational analysis of the experiences in the uptake of social protection schemes by PLHIVs. The main objective of the study was to identify different social protection schemes of the government relevant to PLHIVs and to identify the facilitating and constraining factors in accessing these schemes by PLHIVs.

The findings of this study also showcase some of the successful strategies in implementing the social protection schemes for PLHIVs and can be used for cross learning between States across India to initiate and upscale their efforts.

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