Positive Living

This Entry has been submitted.

Positive Living

Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Nejat Unlu  has designed the first comprehensive care and support system for Turkish citizens infected with HIV/AIDS. Employing a self-help model, patients and volunteers work together to fight discrimination and lobby for privacy rights and other reforms that will help them access the treatment they need. Nejat seeks to end discrimination against those with AIDS by encouraging empathy and promoting accurate information about the disease and those living with it.

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

With Turkey just beginning to recognize the nature and magnitude of its AIDS problem, Nejat has organized the first citizen organization, Positive Life Support Centre, to empower those with the HIV virus to support one another, raise awareness, press for ending discrimination, and lobby for reform in state health policy and practices. Positive Life Support Centre provides HIV patients the care and support that the state does not, often because of discrimination. While the few AIDS groups in Turkey work strictly on research and prevention with the uninfected, Nejat builds local solidarity networks that include volunteers, family members, and healthcare workers to directly serve the growing infected population. These groups provide care, advocate for equal treatment and dignity, and ultimately help HIV patients to help themselves. Nejat also works with the media and within popular cultural avenues to generate understanding and empathy for those living with the disease. Nejat's model has gained international recognition and has been replicated in Turkey's second largest city, Izmir. Recently, the Turkish Ministry of Health asked Nejat to be an advisor to their six-year AIDS policy plan, incorporating some of his strategies for dealing with the rising AIDS problem.