Ahmedabad: Everyone deserves love. Why should HIV-positive people be denied this most basic human emotion? This was the question that prompted Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad, Gujarat State Network of Positive People and Sri Rama Krishna Exports to come together to develop and launch a marriage portal on Tuesday at Ahmedabad, exclusively for People Living with HIV (PLHIV).
This matrimonial portal, matrimonial.gsnpplus.org will serve as a platform where people living with the condition can find life partners. People living with HIV can now register with the website and volunteers of the Gujarat State Network of Positive People (GSNP+) will then facilitate a connection between people who are interested in a matrimonial alliance.
Talking about the portal, chairperson of the Centre for Management of Health Services (CHMS), IIM-A, Prof Rajesh Chandwani, said, “This effort can succeed only when complete confidentiality can be maintained. The administrators of the website will ensure that profiles and information of those interested in matrimony are not made public. This venture involves technology, but it has a major human interface as well.”
“GSNP+ has a track record of several years of facilitating matches of HIV-positive people and they will use the portal to further promote their activities,” he added.
NGO CHIPS IN
Daksha Patel, founder of GSNP+, said that she has seen and experienced problems faced by people who have tested HIV-positive from close quarters.
“I myself tested positive for HIV in 1997 and had to abort my baby then. But we did not lose hope. We have worked tirelessly since and formed a marriage bureau for people with AIDS. Since 2005, we have got 245 HIV-positive couples married. And there has been a huge change in the lives of hundreds of HIV-positive couples. There are several instances where the children of HIV-positive parents are HIV-negative,” she said.
Director of IIM-A, Prof Errol D’ Souza, said the idea of having a matrimonial website exclusively for persons with HIV or AIDS is a path-breaking step, and added that IIM-A partnering in this cause was even more special.
He said, “The CMHS centre at IIM-A has been functional since the 1980s, but more recently, several new dimensions of work have been added. Most of the HIV numbers in India are hidden and we do not know the official figure of cases. Clearly, the official number being cited is wrong and it is high time research and medical practice worked together to provide the best possible environment for persons with HIV in the country.”