From March 5 to 17, 2024, Mrs. Donatella Campioni, President, and Mr. Nicolas Ryter, Project Coordinator, carried out a monitoring mission in the Dindigul region of Tamil Nadu in southern India, home to over 78 million people.

As last year, this mission provided an opportunity to monitor the Masstrust program, funded since 2007, which offers medical and psychosocial follow-up, as well as nutritional and educational support, to 152 children, young people and their families affected by HIV/AIDS across 97 villages in the Dindigul region. Masstrust’s 10-strong local team, including 5 Health Outreach Workers, is out in the field every day to ensure regular contact with beneficiaries and regular antiretroviral treatment. Most of the beneficiaries are young people who have been orphaned or abandoned by one or both parents, and live with their immediate families. Stigmatization in rural areas is extremely strong and often leads to complete social exclusion, making it even more difficult to follow up and take appropriate medication.

In 11 days, the delegation was able to visit 35 children and young people in the program, including 7 they had already met, in 37 different villages. During each visit, beneficiaries shared their stories and the challenges they face as people living with HIV in India. Some young people are also MAP scholarship holders, and are enrolled at university to inspire other children to follow the school path. Others are in vocational training and supporting their families.

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