Citing marginalisation, PLHIV Networks in Nagaland resolve to boycott World AIDS Day

Kohima, November 27 (MExN): The Network of Naga People living with HIV and AIDS (NNP+) and its District Level Networks (DLNs) have declared their decision to abstain from participating in the World AIDS Day 2023 observance, expressing strong resentment over what they perceive as the undermining of their role.

In a statement, they announced their non-participation in the 2023 observance organised by the Nagaland State Control Society (NSACS) and its district units DAPCU (District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit), incidentally slated to the held under the theme "Let Communities Lead."

While acknowledging the significance of World AIDS Day, NNP+ highlighted its historical role in previous years but expressed concern about NSACS sidelining PLHIV Networks over the years, arguing that this contradicts the principle of Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV and AIDS (GIPA).

Despite global efforts towards achieving the GIPA principle, the statement lamented NSACS's departure from this trajectory. It pointed out that in recent years, PLHIV Networks have been relegated to mere attendance in various programmes, serving as a "showpiece" during World AIDS Day observations by inviting members solely to share testimonials about living with HIV.
“No more tokenism,” the statement categorically asserted, while terming the turn of event as unfortunate.

Despite previous notifications to NSACS about these concerns and request to meaningfully involve the PLHIV communities at all levels, the PLHIV Networks claimed that the society's current activities continue to marginalise them systematically.

“Therefore, the Collective Networks has accepted the fact that if NSACS wants this system of functioning, so shall it be,” it said.

The Collective Networks will be observing the World AIDS Day 2023, without NSACS and DAPCU in their own capacity in several districts, and that preparations are already underway, it added.