Health Minister of Mizoram State, India – Dr. R Lalthangliana – and his family recently toured AHF and affiliate facilities in Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Texas. The visits introduced the Minister to U.S. clinic operations and opened the door for future collaborative opportunities in the fight against HIV/AIDS between his office, AHF and its affiliates, and DFW’s political and administrative leaders. Dr. Lalthangliana began his visit at the co-located AIDS Outreach Center (AOC)-AHF Ft. Worth Healthcare Center (HCC), then toured AHF HCC Dallas, one of AHF’s largest all-in-one clinics (clinic plus a pharmacy). His next stops included the co-located Access & Information Network (AIN)-AHF Dallas Market Center HCC and Dallas Out of the Closet (OTC) “mini-clinic” – an all-encompassing facility that offers a thrift store, wellness center, and pharmacy.
“Hosting the Health Minister and his family at AOC was our absolute pleasure,” said AOC Executive Director Kelly Allen Gray. “Discussing shared global health concerns with Dr. Lalthangliana and our Tarrant County elected officials strengthens partnerships and moves the needle forward with eradicating HIV/AIDS and other health morbidities.”
AIN CEO Steven Pace added, “Dr. Lalthangliana’s engaging discussions and willingness to share his journey fighting to end HIV inspired us all and strengthened the bridge between government and NGOs – which heightened our connection with global HIV health concerns.” The Health Minister was impressed with the operations at all facilities and remarked that combining HIV clinics with hospitals would help combat stigma and discrimination, a significant challenge people living with HIV face in India.
“I have visited the beautiful, mountainous state of Mizoram and saw its challenges firsthand. We truly appreciate all the support and participation the Minister has provided AHF,” said Terri Ford, AHF Chief of Global Advocacy and Policy. “Dr. Lalthangliana has led from the front and been a steadfast champion in the battle against HIV/AIDS in his home state—we welcome the opportunity to expand our cooperation with him and Mizoram in the future.”
Mizoram State is located in northeast India on the border with neighboring Myanmar. It has the highest HIV prevalence in the country at 2.3% of the state’s population of 1.1 million people (per 2011 census) – which is ten times the national average.