In today’s day and age, HIV still has a certain stigma associated with it. People with HIV/AIDS still discrimination in society, especially when they try to find a life partner. As most people consider being in a relationship with an HIV positive as taboo.
Now, Positive Saathi, India’s first online matrimony portal for HIV positive people, along with other NGO’s is arranging a matrimonial meet at Kolhapur.
While HIV positive people face several hurdles to find a suitable match, the organiser of this event said, this is an attempt to make the matrimonial process easier for them.
The meet will be organised on November 26 and the registration is free for the participants of this event.
This initiative has already received around 1,300 registrations, with the maximum number of people coming from rural areas.
The representation of men is high, with around 70 per cent of men registering for the meet. In order to increase the participation of women the organisers have decided to reimburse the transportation cost to women.
Along with Positive Saathi, different voluntary organisations have also joined to work for the meet. Different organisations that have pitched in include, Maharashtra State AIDS Control Society, VIHAAN, Rotary club of Kolhapur, RTO Kolhapur, Anandwan deaddiction centre etc.
Anil Valiv, a government official from Pune, who is also a founder of Positive Saathi, said, “If their emotional and physical needs are not met, they can end up spreading the infection. It important to create a safe and accessible platform for HIV positive patients. We take precautions so that their identity is not revealed. In the meet we offer doctors and lawyers consultation too. No fees are charged for these consultations.”
The organisation has also arranged similar matrimonial meets in other districts of Maharashtra. When asked about their journey so far, the organisers said that, “In the beginning we did not get good response. It’s only with effective publicity that people have started coming forward. Through different meets and through our online site we have seen more than 300 successful marriages.”