The First ever Interactive Workshop for the Tibetan People Living with HIV/AIDS (commonly termed TPLHA) was held between March 30 and 31, 2011 here. The workshop was participated by 9 TPLHA individuals from five different Tibetan settlements in India.
The Workshop was jointly organized by Department of Health of the exile Tibetan government, and CHOICE-HIV/AIDS Initiative. The TPLHA individuals have pledged to contribute towards the fight against AIDS in the Tibetan communities in exile.
This Interactive Workshop would not have been possible without the support and guidance of minister for health Chope Paljor Tsering who initially thought of holding such a workshop, said Phuntsok Chomphel, Project officer of CHOICE-HIV/AIDS.
“Through this workshop, we aim to provide a platform for HIV positive individuals or families in our community to come together to fight against AIDS, interact and ensure their acceptability into our community that is, like several other communities, discriminative towards people with the virus”, said Wangchuk Phasur, secretary of the Tibetan government’s department of health, who also participated in the workshop along with other officials of the department.
The workshop formulated future policy based on the testimonies given by the TPLHA and finding solutions to the problems facing them in the Tibetan community.
Health minister Mr. Chope Paljor Tsering in his welcome speech briefed the participants about the aims and objective of the Workshop assuring all possible assistance to them from his department. Mr. Chope urged the participants to comply with the Highly Active Anti-retroviral Therapy (HAART) while seeking alternative therapy from Tibetan medicine to boost their immune system.
Mr. Chope also suggested forming of a union or Network of HIV Positive People (KYI-DUG in Tibetan) in their respective settlements in collaboration with CHOICE or department of Health.
Health secretary Wangchuk Phasur said the TPLHA can potentially play a vital role in enabling other Tibetans living with the virus to come out in public.