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Kolkata, Aug 12 (UNI) Avahan, an India AIDS initiative of Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation, today launched India's first charity book, 'AIDS Sutra- Untold Stories from India', at the Oxford Bookstore here.

Published by Random House, the book, a collection of 16 stories from some of India's most well-known writers, telling the human stories behind the epidemic, was launched in presence of author Amit Chaudhuri, who shared his experience with readers.

''There are nearly 3 million Indians living with HIV today. If We are going to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS, we have to embrace every one of them - regardless of social class, line of work, or circumstance. It starts with telling their stories. That's why we are grateful to the distinguished writers who have contributed to this anthology'' Jayanti Rajagopalan, Program Officer, Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation, said.

This anthology, which includes stories by Salman Rushdie, Siddhartha Deb, Kiran Desai, Mikita Lalwani, Vikram Seth, Nalini Jones, Shobhaa De, Sunil Ganguly, Amit Chaudhuri, Jaspreet Singh, William ADalrymple, Sonia Faleiro, Mukul Kesavan, Aman Sethi, Siddharth Danvant Shanghvi and Dr CS Lakshmi, shows a side to India rarely seen before.

Author Amit Chaudhuri spoke about the doctors fighting more than just AIDS. ''None of the doctors I met that day had, initially been trained to face the disease. What they were now was shaped by it, and HIV had first confronted each in a slighty different incarnation - a rumour, a makeshift pedagogy; a death, '' he said.

The book is priced at Rs 395.

The collection will go to support children affected by HIV/AIDS in high prevalence cities: Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

The funding will help them go to school, and receive care and support. The fund will be managed by Avahan.

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