One of the reasons for my recent trip to India was to congratulate the team at Avahan on their fantastic work and transition to management by the government of India – this is an incredible achievement. The Indian government will be scaling the program and supporting it over the long term.
When I was in Bangalore recently, I visited an Avahan supported drop-in center for sex workers that is one of the success stories in India’s effort to reduce the spread of HIV. The center is run by a local community organization that provides counseling, medical help, HIV prevention training, and a microfinance bank to about 19,000 sex workers. This center is one of many programs which are part of the larger Avahan HIV prevention project. The program is targeted at millions of the people most at-risk for contracting and spreading the virus. The foundation helped get Avahan off the ground and has supported it for the last 10 years – its transition to government management is a great example of what collaboration with governments can achieve.