In doing so, 30-year-old Yumrin Nokpa, an auto driver, has set an example before others, who also tested positive with the HIV virus, to think positively.

"Initially, I faced many problems. I was pushed out from my home by my family members, was beaten up in public places and endured social discrimination," he said.     

"Since I am an auto driver, all my colleagues tried to avoid me. I was also asked to vacate my rented house by the landlord. Now I am residing at a doctor's house in Naharlagun," Nokpa, who hails from Tirap district, said.

Nokpa said after being diagnosed with the disease, he felt frustrated and even contemplated suicide at one time, but after counselling and encouragement from a few members of the Arunachal Pradesh State AIDS Control Society (APSACS) he got a new lease of life.

"Now I am leading life with a positive frame of mind along with my wife and two sons. My wife is also an AIDS patient. But, my two sons are free from HIV," he said.

Nokpa is now working for an organisation "Arunachal Network of Positive People (ArNP+)" which is engaged in creating awareness about the deadly disease.

"I have been working as outreach worker (ORW) under the banner of Vihaan, a care and support centre under Oju Welfare Association. If you are well aware with HIV/AIDS, infection could be stopped...This is my message today," he said.

Vihaan, as part of the National AIDS Control Organisation, is working in tracing the records and migration of AIDS patients in and around the state. APSACS sometimes fail to detect the patients. So as a part of NACO, Vihaan monitors the regular medication for positive people, he revealed.

Commenting on the challenges, he said that instant data sharing had turned out to be a problem between APSACS and Vihaan, because people who have tested positive do not want to reveal their addresses due to social stigma and discrimination.

"Vihaan has been working for more than a year, but we have only 31 registered positive people, whereas we have more than two hundred positive patients in the state," he said.

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