RELEVANCE OF SCHEME DIRECTORY
Enhancing access to social protection and legal services is recognized globally as an effective strategy to increase the quality of life and reduce the economic impact of HIV/AIDS on people and families affected by HIV. It is also seen as a strategy to reduce HIV acquisition risk of socioeconomically marginalized key populations such as transgender people, men who have sex with men, women who sell sex, and people who inject drugs.
Evidence indicates that PLHIV and their households reduce consumption of essential items including food, borrow from moneylenders, work for extended hours, and face many additional hardships to cope with the economic burden accompanying chronic illness. This impedes their uptake of HIV prevention and treatment services. On the other hand, pervasive stigma and discrimination based on HIV status, marginalized genders and sexualities, sex work and/or drug use, prevent individuals from these communities from accessing schemes and entitlements, including identity cards, schemes for health, education, livelihood, pension and other services.
SAATHII_Svavritti team and its five implementing partners (NMP+, MNP+, NNP, KNP+ and RCDSSS) have developed a common minimum package of the most accessible and beneficial schemes specific to eight (Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal) project implementing states that are relevant to the needs of PLHIV and key affected populations. The common minimum package contained in the Scheme Directory has central government and state government schemes. They cover health, education, child welfare, employment and livelihood, food and nutrition, pension and financial assistance, housing, financial inclusion, insurance and legal services.
The Scheme Directory will support existing care providers such as counselors at Integrated Counseling and Testing Centres (ICTCs) and Anti-Retroviral Therapy Centres (ARTCs), representatives of community-based organizations and positive networks, and NGOs working with PLHIV and key affected populations in disseminating the information on social protection schemes and guiding eligible applicants for submitting applications at the relevant government offices.