Calcutta (Fides Service) - In Calcutta Missionaries of Charity, Sisters and Brothers, spiritual sons and daughters of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta care for people with AIDS at two centres for people with AIDS and offer home care. The missionaries distribute government provided drugs to people at the third of fourth stage of the illness against which there is still no vaccine.
In 2005 Shanti Bhavan Institute took in 27 men with AIDS. Sad to say 13 of them died but the condition of 7 patients improved and they were allowed to go home and resume normal life, and seven are still receiving treatment at the centre.
The Sisters Missionaries of Charity take care of women with AIDS at Shanti Dan Compond next door. These two homes are the only Catholic centres in Calcutta which assist exclusively people with AIDS.
Compared to other parts of India only a small percent of prostitutes in Calcutta’s infamous Sonagachi district are HIV+, whereas Bombay has the highest percentage 70% infection, followed by Chennai with 60% and Delhi with 40%.
Through a programme of information and prevention in the Sonagachi district several NGOs have helped reduce the percentage infection to 9%. (AP) (6/12/2005 Agenzia Fides; Righe:22; Parole:242)