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We lost a great HIV woman activist from India this week - let us honor Veenadhari from Mangalore

Dear all,

I got this note tonight from colleagues in India. I did not know Veenadhari personally, but knew the name from my friends in India. I'm lighting a candle tonight to a great woman whose death will not be in vain, but recommits me to honoring her courage and her life.

Blessings to Veenadhari, a great woman activist who lived with HIV and helped so many there. -- Anne-christine

Mangalore: Well-known HIV/AIDS Activist Veenadhari is No More

Daijiworld Media Network – Mangalore (VM)

Mangalore, Nov 2: Well-known social worker and an ardent activist for
the rights of HIV infected, Veenadhari passed away on Friday evening
in Bangalore.

After a brief term of illness, the Mangalorean former school teacher,
a HIV +ve herself, breathed her last in Manipal Hospital, Bangalore.

Veenadhari, who followed and advocated the ayurveda and naturopathy
approach to living with HIV/AIDS, was in news when she led a mega
drive against the `stigmatizing of persons with HIV' using the red
ribbon symbol.

By dedicating her life to the cause of persons with HIV and fighting
a daily battle against a society which ostracizes HIV-infected,
Veenadhari's great achievement was the Karavali Positive Women's and
Children's Network.

Having voiced the concerns of persons with HIV/AIDS at thousands of
forums and in national and international seminars, Veenadhari who
hailing from a rich family, led a simple life by choice. A full time
social worker, Veenadhari was instrumental in identifying women who
are infected with HIV and providing them help.

Veenadhari broke up with her husband who unknowingly had passed on
the HIV virus to her. When her husband's health deteriorated and he
was diagnosed as HIV +ve, it was a deadly blow to Veenadhari. She
soon found out that she too had contracted the disease.

The medical fraternity and sections of the government machinery was
unhappy with her campaign against the commercialization of the Anti-
Retroviral Drug.

"I am HIV +ve, does that make me a lesser human being?" questioned
Veenadhari as people pointed fingers at her when she boldly revealed
her HIV status.

During her life time, she worked day-and-night offering emotional and
psychological support to thousands of persons infected with HIV.

Crossing all boundaries of social secrecy and stigma, Veenadhari with
the infrastructure and support from Valored, a social service
organization, was responsible for forming numerous groups of medical
practioners, advocates, social workers and journalists working for
the rights of persons with HIV/AIDS.

A great loss to the society and to the HIV/AIDS awareness movement,
Veenadhari's death has shocked al those who have interacted and known
her work.

Also read exclusive story on Veenadhari:


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