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Times of India
29 July 2010
Pune, India

A matrimonial meet for HIV+ men and women, Melava+, will be held on August 1 and has been organised by Wake Up Pune, a group of non–governmental organisations and people working towards spreading awareness about HIV and AIDS.

Over 80 individuals have registered for this meet, which will be held at Agrasen Bhavan, near Manish market, Ravivar Peth.

Speaking during a press conference on Tuesday, Ryan Beck Turner, coordinator, Wake Up Pune, said, "Every man and woman, HIV+ or not, has the right to find happiness in a loving and secure relationship. Match–making events, such as this one, help tackle HIV–related stigma and discrimination by supporting equal rights to all for marriage and happiness."

Dwijen Smart, who represents a website supporting this initiative, said, "With the increase in access to treatment and healthcare, HIV+ people have the opportunity to live long and healthy lives. There are, however, few opportunities created for them to meet and build relationships with other HIV+ people."

Avinash Chakranarayan, Deep Griha Society – which is part of the initiative, said, "The matrimonial event will give an chance to HIV+ people to meet each other and find lasting relationships, built on mutual care and support. This will encourage them to get back into mainstream society and even start thinking about starting a family."

The last date to register for the meet is July 29. For more information, call 020–66010618 or log on to http://vivah.aarogya.com/.

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