Thanks to all the five photographers that have came forward to volunteer their services pro bono for the Malaysia AIDS Foundation’s RED RIBBON GALA tomorrow. I’ve had two long days and I am way too exhausted to blog about my personal views at the moment. So I’ll leave you with some great journalistic reporting on AIDS by friends of mine… after all MAF and Mercedes Benz will be honouring great journalistic efforts on AIDS tomorrow as well.
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Zoriah (War and Humanitarian Photojournalist)
Click on “AIDS in Asia” link for more compelling photos on AIDS patients in Asia. Note that some of the images are graphic and strong, and maybe disturbing to some.
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Arijit Sen (CNN-IBN Special Correspondent)
Imphal: Manipur’s Network of Positive people is a group that has been working for HIV positive people for 10-years now.
Udita Salam an HIV patient says she lost one of her children to AIDS. But despite her difficult journey in life she is unfailingly optimistic. She works at the Manipur Network of Positive People and helps other people fight the virus.
In a state, which has 27,000 positive people – the most in India – the MNPP fights for the rights and dignity of those with HIV, spreading awareness through classes in Imphal.
Manipur’s proximity to the infamous Golden Triangle drug route means that the bulk of HIV transmissions take place among intravenous drug users.
“Drugs are easily available. Stigma and discrimination is very high. In Imphal it’s a bit reduced, but in hilly areas drug abuse is high,” says Azithhwor, Project Manager, MNP.
The MNPP says their biggest obstacle in the fight against HIV discrimination is the lack of funding.
“At times we don’t even have 25 paise for our HIV programme. For the betterment of HIV, AIDS, this is the right time for the government to act,” says Deepak, President, MNP.
Battling against all odds, however, the only message coming out from this corner of Imphal is loud and clear. Fighting discrimination, society, giving HIV infected people dignity is what these people are doing across Manipur.
Watch Arijit’s video report on “With HIV cases soaring high, Manipur battles for life” here.