HIV positive individuals even today face societal discrimination. Ignorance in the nature of HIV has led to social stigmas being attached to patients suffering this disease. District Collector P Bala Kiran in Kannur, Kerela, took it upon himself to educate the citizens in his district, of this dreaded illness. A 20-year-old HIV positive girl was ostracised and forced to leave her hostel after she opened up about her condition. She is now back to her college thanks to the intervention of P Bala Kiran, reported Business Standard.
The first-year graduation student of a private college in Kannur had decided to leave the management hostel last month, where she had been put up as some of her fellow mates and their parents objected to her stay there after she revealed her HIV positive status. College principal P A Junaid said the issue became public after the management sought another accommodation for her as some of her fellow hostel mates vacated the rooms. Hearing the girl’s plight, the Collector stepped in to help her.
The Collector said he had held many rounds of talks with the girl, college management representatives and even organised an awareness class for other students and parents with the support of health officials. “I am happy that the issue has been solved and she has gone back to the hostel. The college authorities were very supportive throughout. Now other students and their parents are also convinced,” said the Collector. “They (students and parents) asked the doctors many doubts about the disease. The health experts gave them convincing answers. Thus the issue was settled and the student is now back in her hostel and studies,” he added. The Collector also said he planned to extend the drive throughout the district to end the social stigma attached to the disease. The Collector’s intervention and the awareness class has helped change mindsets.