After a long wait of over 1.5 years since its first announcement in late 2011, the Delhi government finally doled out cheques to poor, infected with HIV-AIDS, promising a life-long solution to their financial problems.
While people registered with the government and presently undergoing antiretroviral treatment at any of the nine listed government health centres will get Rs. 1,000 every month, HIV positive orphans, destitute or abandoned children living in government shelter homes will be given a compensation of Rs. 2,050.
Among other criteria for HIV aid eligibility are that the infected person should be a Delhi resident for the past three years, with a family annual income of not more than Rs. 1 lakh.
The destitute or orphans should be born of either parent died of the deadly virus.
"Currently there are 11,064 people undergoing antiretroviral treatment (ART) at nine centres across the city. We intend to reach out to as many HIV positive people as we can," said Dr A.K. Walia, Delhi health minister.
"Most of these HIV infected people are in deep financial crises mostly because of the social ostracism they face. We feel that this initiative will empower them," he said.
The minister added that all diagnostic facilities, including radiological examinations such as MRI and X-ray, will be made available free to HIV positive patients, he added.
"All our 41 hospitals have been notified to make all diagnostic facilities free for HIV patients," Walia said.
Delhi Network of Positive people have been writing to the government for the past several years. They have also had many consultations with government officials for these funds to be processed and released to the eligible people as soon as possible.
Delhi is the first state in the country to have initiated such a scheme to help the HIV positive people.