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Home > News > Report

AIDS patients not allowed to enter Bihar CM's janata darbar

Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | October 09, 2007 14:20 IST
Last Updated: October 09, 2007 15:39 IST

A group of female AIDS patients were not allowed to meet Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at his much publicised janata darbar on Monday.

"We were stopped at the gate by policemen following instruction from officials in charge of the janata darbar because we are suffering from AIDS," Kamla Sinha told in Patna on Tuesday.

Kamla is one of the over dozen women in the group, who are either suffering from AIDS or are HIV positive. They hail from the districts of Nawada, Nalanda, Patna and Gaya.

Another member Mohini Devi said that they were being denied proper treatment and medicines at the Patna Medical College and Hospital. "We were eager to complain to Nitish Kumar, but did not get a chance to do so," she said.

Malini, another member of the group, said that they have been facing discrimination within their families and from the society. "Everyone hates us and treats us like untouchables. But now we are not even allowed to meet the chief minister. Is this not discrimination by the government itself," she asked.

However, state Health Minister Chandra Mohan Rai denied that the women were prevented from meeting Nitish Kumar because they were suffering from AIDS. "There was nothing like that. Some policemen might have stopped them at the gate" Rai said.

Rai added that he had directed the PMCH to ensure proper treatment for these women, after Nitish Kumar asked him to look into their complaint seriously.

However, there are frequent cases of discrimination against AIDS patients in the state. "They face social stigma due to widespread misconceptions regarding AIDS," a health official said

India has the third highest number of HIV positive patients in the world, with approximately 2.5 million people living with the deadly virus.

Names of the patients have been changed to protect their identity