NEW DELHI, INDIA (DECEMBER 01, 2013) (ANI) - On the occasion of World AIDS Day on Sunday (December 01), sex workers in India's capital city Delhi came together to seek pension for people who are no longer able to work.
A protester, Sultana Begum, said she believes that pension is every senior citizen's right, and even the sex workers should be able to claim it.
"Our main motive of joining this campaign is to put forward the demands of our co-sex workers, as we believe that it is our right to receive pension like other old age people and widows," said Begum.
According to the latest estimates by India's National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), the world's second most populous country with over 1.2 billion people has shown an overall reduction of 57 percent in the annual new HIV infections.
A lawmaker in-exile, Dawa Tsering, said that by organising this camp they are educating people about the epidemic of AIDS and its prevention and distributing free T-shirts as a measure of spreading awareness.
"Today we have organised a blood test for HIV and Hepatitis… It is a free medical check-up and also with the health department we are distributing free T-shirts," said Tsering.
In the early 2000s, India was on the verge of becoming a hotbed for HIV/AIDS with several studies suggesting that the country was poised to overtake sub-Saharan Africa as the global epicentre of the disease with rising numbers of fresh infections.
But timely interventions by non-governmental organisations, global funding agencies and the government helped India arrest the free fall and now the country is often cited as one of the success stories in the fight against AIDS.
The estimated number of people living with HIV in India has decreased from 2.41 million in 2000 to 2.09 million in 2011, according to NACO report for 2012-13.