The Naz Foundation (India) Trust is a leading community-based organization in the battle against HIV disease in India. Based in New Delhi, Naz began in 1994 and has since grown to include a service delivery network which promotes HIV/AIDS awareness, and provides care and support for those infected and affected with the virus.
The Naz Foundation (India) Trust identified that People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHAs) were not receiving adequate care. It has become increasingly obvious that there was, and continuously today, is a need not only for information on HIV/AIDS but also services like pre and post HIV testing and counseling and ongoing support in the form of home visits, etc for those who are HIV positive. There is a lack of specialized medical services for the treatment of opportunistic infections related to HIV and often people living with HIV experience discrimination from service providers and medical staff.
The funds received from The Infinity Foundation helped Naz India to start an HIV/AIDS clinic in July 1998, which was first of its kind in Delhi to offer specialised counseling and treatment services on STDs and HIV/AIDS - a service previously not available.
The clinic has been in operation since July 1998. The clinic operates three days a week.
Medication is free, although those clients in a position to buy the medicines are requested to do so. Two counselors are present along with the doctor. The counselors on duty are responsible for greeting the clients, filling in the intake sheet for the client, assisting the doctor, conducting pre and post HIV test counseling or on-going counseling.
In the past two and a half years, 680 people have been served for a total of 1994 clinic visits.
Medication and Testing
Now in our third year of operation we have managed to overcome the problem of lack of access to medications to a great extent because of the continuation of the grant and also due to donation of medicines mostly anti retro viral drugs from other countries. We provide free anti-retroviral drugs to HIV positive pregnant women from their seventh month of pregnancy to reduce the risk of HIV transmission to the baby. This is the only client group who receives free anti retro viral medication form the clinic.
In the outreaches done at Lala Ram Saroop Institute for TB and Allied Diseases we have come across a number of clients who need testing but cannot afford the cost. In certain situations where the counselor's assessment of a client's capacity to pay requires the cost to be borne by the organisation, we pay for it. In extending their support to our work, some of the diagnostic centers we use for HIV testing have offered reduced costs for other testing such as liver function, VDRL and blood screening.
Client Visits/ Home Based Care
Care and Support staff meets regularly with PLHAs in a range of settings including clients' homes, medical and testing centers, hospitals, care homes, etc. Visits are conducted on an ongoing basis as per need. Increasingly, the program is providing home based care. In such cases the client does not need hospitalization but is quite sick. A team, consisting of a doctor and a counselor with the necessary medical equipment, goes to the client's house to provide care. The team also educates the family about how to take care of the patient at home and to help them identify at what point the client would need hospital admission. With home based care, the client and the family are much more at ease because they do not have to worry about getting hospital admission. It saves time, money and energy. It provides a healthier and more supportive environment for the client. At the same time it also equips families to handle emergencies and also does away with discrimination and denial of services in the hospital setting.