India: Mumbai gets 1st community-run HIV clinic for gay men, sex workers

People living with HIV who belong to marginalized communities and have faced discriminatory or unwelcome behaviour at public health centres, have a reason to cheer. The city now has one of the country's first community-based centres that will provide a full range of medical services needed for antiretroviral therapy (ART) outside of a hospital set-up.

Community-based organization Humsafar Trust on Thursday unveiled the centre at its Santacruz (east) office, where high-risk communities, including men having sex with men, female sex workers, transgenders, can take regular HIV treatment. Earlier, it was only counselling and testing at the centre.

"People from the LGBTQ community can now access treatment in a safe space, and non-judgmental environment outside hospital settings," said Ashok Row Kavi, founder and chairperson of Humsafar Trust which started the clinic with Mumbai District AIDS Control Society and FHI 360.

Vivek Anand, CEO, Humsafar, said "It was tough to find space for the clinic as we primarily work with MSM. So, we housed the clinic in our office," he said. Read more via Times of India