Increasing Access to HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care for Vulnerable People

What the Project is About

What is the Project AboutPhoto: Nazia Erum/UNDP india

In partnership with the Department of Aids Control, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, the project aims to reduce stigma faced by people affected by HIV and support improved access to entitlements and services through mobilizing communities and strengthening institutions on facilitating access to social protection and expanding coverage of HIV services to hard-to-reach men-having-sex-with-men and transgender groups.


What Have We Accomplished So FarPhoto: Nazia Erum/UNDP India
  1. Policy development
    • Supported policy development on mainstreaming HIV concerns in the broader development agenda, expanding social protection, addressing the risks of migration, strengthening rural outreach (link worker scheme), encouraging greater voice for sexual minorities, and ensuring greater involvement of positive people in policies
  2. Institutional strengthening
    • Strengthened in-house capacity of NACO by providing technical and human resource support to the Mainstreaming Unit at NACO. The Mainstreaming Unit provides strategic oversight and policy development support at the central level and to State AIDS Control Societies
  3. Mainstreaming and social protection
    • Supported the formulation of Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) entered into by 14 non-health ministries for a multisectoral response to HIV, the specific objective of this partnership being to strengthen prevention efforts, improve access to testing and treatment, increase uptake of benefits under social protection and reduce stigma against people infected and affected with HIV
    • Demonstrated state-level models to increase access of HIV-affected communities to social protection; Project Utkarsh, implemented through Swasti in Bengaluru, supported 29 functional social protection help desks
    • Single window model for delivery of social protection benefits to HIV-affected persons has since been scaled up by NACO in 189 districts and 1.04 million social protection benefits and entitlements have been availed of by HIV-affected communities
    • Supported the development of a web based portal on social protection containing 135 HIV inclusive and exclusive schemes for ease of delivery of social protection. The portal was officially launched by the Hon'ble Minister for Health & Family Welfare on the World AIDS Day in December 2015
    • Supported the development of operational guidelines for the District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit for roll out of single window access to social protection for people affected by HIV
    • Documented nine case studies across Odisha, Karnataka, and Rajasthan that highlighted the improved quality of life of people from affected communities due to access of social and legal protection
  4. Stigma and discrimination
    • Prepared HIV stigma-reduction framework for integration into National AIDS Control Programme – Phase IV
    • Conducted a National Survey on the Levels of HIV-related Stigma and Discrimination in Urban India in partnership with NACO
    • Developed a research compendium, HIV-related Stigma Research in India: Current Knowledge, Gaps, and Recommendations that serves as an evidence-base to inform effective national response
    • Prepared a scan of laws that enable and those that impede effective delivery of HIV services in the country
  5. Capacity building of marginalized and HIV-affected communities
    • Commissioned a publication that documents the journey over three decades of the coming together of MSM and TG communities as a collective to fight for their rights. The book entitled A People Stronger: The Collectivization of MSM and TG Groups in India  was published by SAGE Publications. 
    • Supported project Umeed Live in Chhattisgarh to strengthen the capacities of transgender people to advocate for their rights and development needs
    • Contributed for the establishment of five Transgender Welfare Boards in states by facilitating the engagement of the community with the decision-makers at the state level.
    • Supported organizational development of multiple national networks of people living with HIV and sexual minorities
    • Advocated and supported the institutionalization of a separate Technical Resource Group for the Transgender and Men who have sex with Men at NACO
    • Published a document entitled From the Frontline of Community Action: A Compendium of Six Successful Community-based HIV Interventions That Have Worked for MSM–TG–Hijras in India that details the key interventions, partnerships, lessons learnt and replicable models
  6. Expanding coverage of HIV services to hard-to-reach groups such as MSM and TG
    • Completed nation-wide mapping of TG communities and developed operational guidelines to scale up targeted interventions for MSM and TG persons
    • Project Sashakt reached out to 4,500 MSM and TG persons through six community-based organizations in India
    • Seven training modules were developed for service providers of various cadres to increase the delivery of HIV healthcare services to sexual minorities covered by the Targeted Intervention Programme under NACO

Funding Support by

Donor Name Amount Contributed
UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub US$ 3,174,405
UNAIDS US$ 199,929

Expenditure in Previous Fiscal Years

Year Amount
2016 US$ 198,830
2015 US$  344,942.72
2014 US$  519,929
2013 US$ 926,230


Stories of Change

Living with Dignity; HIV-sensitive Social Protection in India

Living with Dignity; HIV-sensitive Social Protection in India
UNDP in partnership with India’s National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and state AIDS Control Societies, has implemented a multi-pronged strategy to strengthen social protection to support affected communities in becoming resilient and coping better with the impact of HIV. Its supported states like Rajasthan, in taking steps to extend social protection to people living with HIV. As of 2015, over 9,00,000 people infected and affected by HIV have benefited from the government’s social protection schemes including pensions, scholarships, subsidized travel allowances to treatment centres and food subsidies. 

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