Shyamala Natarajan is a journalist whose activist work on issues surrounding HIV/AIDS developed over fifteen years ago when she was covering a story on female sex workers and others AIDS issues in India. In 1991, Shyamala founded and became the Director of the South India AIDS Action Program (SIAAP) after she discovered that there were no support services available for individuals who were living with HIV/AIDS. SIAAP involves other existing non-governmental organizations in South India in their mission to increase AIDS awareness and to develop and implement effective education and prevention programs. SIAAP focuses on education, treatment, community counseling, reduction of prejudice and empowerment for infected individuals. By 1996, SIAAP had impacted forty-two NGO's by helping them to incorporate issues surrounding HIV/AIDS into their own existing programs. In addition to creating education and counseling programs, Shyamala has lobbied the Indian government to enact policy changes, such as one against the detention of people testing HIV-positive and against mandatory testing.

Shyamala was nominated as one of one thousand women worldwide to receive the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize for her dedication to HIV/AIDS awareness raising.

Information on HIV/AIDS in India , end of 2003

Adult* HIV prevalence rate: 0.4%, to 1.3%
Adults living with HIV: 2,200,000 to 7,300,000
Adults and children living with HIV: 2,200,000 to 7,600,000
Women Living with HIV: 630,000 to 2,100,000
AIDS deaths (adults and children): 160,000 to 560,000

*Adult statistics for persons 15-49 years old

**statistics from deaths that occurred in 2003

Source: UNAIDS

Related Websites

This website provides information about the mission, background and outcomes of the South India AIDS Action Program (SIAAP).

The official website announcing the one thousand women worldwide that were nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.

Source: World Maps Online

Shyamala Natarajan



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