ICRW-ARO director Ravi Verma

A national role for ICRW-ARO director Dr Ravi Verma

15 December 2014
Priti Prabhughate and Annie Holmes

Dr Ravi Verma has been appointed chair of the new Technical Resource Group (TRG) to provide inputs to the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) on stigma reduction.

India’s fourth National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) under the aegis of National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) has identified stigma reduction as a priority to be addressed. Dr Ravi Verma has been appointed chair of the new Technical Resource Group (TRG) to provide inputs to NACO on stigma reduction. 

Dr Verma is director of STRIVE partner, the Asia Regional Office of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW-ARO), based in New Delhi. One of STRIVE’s first projects was research uptake of ICRW-ARO findings on the adoption of a stigma reduction framework in five settings in India.

Stigma reduction framework

At the first meeting of the new TRG, Ravi spoke about the stigma reduction framework and how to adapt it to existing HIV programmes and to the structures of NACO. Going forward, the TRG will aim to integrate stigma reduction in a systematic way for a number of sectors, including: 

  • information, education communication (IEC) campaigns
  • key populations (sex workers, intravenous drug users, men who have sex with men)
  • children who have been orphaned or made vulnerable by AIDS

An important challenge for the TRG will be to define and employ different levels of ‘communication’, from one-to-one discussions, to campaigns, to popular organising efforts. The role of the TRG would be to suggest a comprehensive, multi-level stigma reduction strategy to address HIV-related stigma and discrimination.