Named for the Sanskrit word for ‘dawn’s first light,’ Vihaan is a national initiative establishing and managing 350 Care & Support Centres (CSCs) across India to expand access to essential services, increase treatment adherence, reduce stigma and discrimination, and improve the quality of life of people living with HIV (PLHIV).
The programme is designed as the care & support component of the country’s HIV response under National AIDS Control Programme IV (NACP IV). Working in collaboration with the Department of AIDS Control and with support from the Global Fund, the programme operates in 31 states and territories and will reach more than one million PLHIV by 2016.
The Vihaan consortium is led by Alliance India and 17 state-level PLHIV networks and NGOs that in turn partner with district-level PLHIV networks and other organisations to deliver care & support services in communities.
Vihaan CSCs are committed to the health and wellbeing of all PLHIV and their affected families, with special effort to reach those from underserved populations, including women, children and members of high-risk groups, such as female sex workers (FSWs), men who have sex with men (MSM), transgenders, hijras and people who inject drugs (PWID).
Vihaan provides access to a range of quality care & support services using an integrated approach that complements existing HIV prevention and treatment programming. Working in coordination with nearby ART Centres, CSCs serve as safe spaces for PLHIV offering services that include counselling, outreach and follow-up support, health referrals, and linkages to social welfare schemes.