People Living with HIV (PLHIV) face various vulnerabilities such as job insecurity, poor access to health care facilities, low access to nutritional support and education for children. In addition, HIV-related social stigma and discrimination diminishes their access to work and medical treatment, and also lowers their self-esteem to even seek government entitlements. Children affected by HIV/AIDS (CABA) have many factors currently deter or prevent them from benefiting essential health care, education and other social welfare services provided under the Government of India schemes. Girls orphaned by HIV tend to be more socially vulnerable. Given these realities and the need for regular income for the PLHIV to meet their escalating expenses for treatment and care, there is a need to plan for social protection for those living with HIV and AIDS. It is recognized that for population infected and affected by HIV and AIDS have needs beyond HIV prevention and treatment services.
In NACP IV, social protection is viewed with great importance for reducing vulnerabilities and to mitigate the impact of HIV. The strategy on social & legal protection is to reduce the impact of HIV by ensuring entitlements & benefits to PLHIV & affected families. It reduces the burden on household as well as vulnerabilities of people to infection.
The Karnataka State Government has also implemented various social protection initiatives in the State to improve the lives of PLHIV.
The DAPCU led “Single Window” model for social protection is envisaged to improve the accessibility of entitlements and schemes by the infected and affected communities. This model intends to facilitate entitlements and schemes provided by the State and Central Government to all eligible most at risk population (MARPs), People living with HIV (PLHIV) and Children Affected by AIDS (CABA).
The DAPCU office will act as the single window for social protection for the infected and affected communities. At district level, the DAPCU Officer will take a lead to ensure that PLHIV, CABA and MARPs are fully assisted in providing information on various entitlements and schemes, in filling the application through various help desks. DAPCU officer plays important roles in submitting the filled in application to various departments, follow-up and its implementation.
The feature of this model is to increase demand for social protection among PLHIV, CABA and MARPs through social protection help desks. In the DAPCU-led model, the various service centres under the NACP at the district like TI NGO, LWS, ICTC, ART, Link ART, etc. will act as help desks to facilitate social protection. The DAPCU office will act as apex body in the district to facilitate social entitlements and social protection.
“Single window” refers to a single access point to avail the information on various social protection schemes and submit the application for social protection. The DAPCU directly advocates with the district administration through the District Commissioner with various departments (including legal services) to make necessary changes in the various schemes to address the needs of the PLHIV, CABA and MARPs.
In Karnataka, Honourable Health Minister, Mr. U T Khader has taken special interest in Single Window Model for PLHIV.