HIV-positive couples hail Valentine's Day in Chennai

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Chennai, Feb 14 (ANI): Unlike others who endure the misfortune of being infected with HIV/AIDS and later lead a life of isolation and stigma, 50 afflicted persons in Chennai city heralded Valentine's Day.

This event also created public awareness about the pandemic and highlighted the means to fight social stigma besides sending a message that such people ought to lead a normal life.

"There are many people affected by HIV/AIDS but they are not coming out. We took part in this Valentines Day celebrations to send a message that others should come forth and be normal like us," said Vasanti, a HIV/AIDS patient.

The affected people played games like picking up red roses while blindfolded, musical chairs and head the ball among others.

"After getting affected by AIDS it is important to take care of ourselves, they should be lead a normal life like others and others should not look down at them. With this in view, we have participated in this event to celebrate Valentine's Day," opined Ravi Chandran, another HIV/AIDS patient.

Sarah Clymer, Vice-Consul of the American Consulate was the chief guest on the occasion.

She encouraged the HIV/AIDS afflicted persons not to lose heart but be a part of the mainstream of the society and take part in such programmes as organised on the eve of Valentine's Day.

"It is a great event to celebrate with people with HIV/AIDS with the help of entire rituals. People living with HIV/AIDS are able to live with meaningful relationship. It is important to remember that these people are like you and me. The government, representatives and we need to work together," Clymer added. (ANI)

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