GOA, INDIA – On March 19th, HIV Congress conferred the Meritorious Service Award on Albina du Boisrouvray, the Founder and President of FXB, “for her invaluable contribution for the care and support of people living with HIV/AIDS.” For over 27 years, Albina has supported estimated 100 million AIDS orphans and the poorest families in 12 countries through FXB. Her continuous efforts have made a difference to numerous people’s lives around the globe.
The Award recognizes Albina’s significant contribution to controlling HIV/AIDS in India and establishing programs for AIDS orphans when the pandemic was still in its infancy and denied by many. “There was a lot of ignorance surrounding the transmission of AIDS and nobody wanted to even touch AIDS orphans. It was an upstream battle,” she told STOI from Portugal. According to Time of India, although Albina was unable to receive the award in person due to health reasons, she was “humbled and touched that her work received recognition.”
Albina’s work in India relating to HIV/AIDS dates back to the 1990s. Her first program in India started in 1991 when she opened a daycare in Goa for children of sex workers, many of whom were HIV positive. Eight years after the first efforts in India, FXB received official recognition from the government as organizers of HIV/AIDS prevention work in the slums of Jaipur, and later, Jodhur.
With the support and investments from Bill & Melinda Foundation and others who believed in FXB’s mission, her work continued to grow to populations and communities throughout the country. By 2003, the AIDS work of FXB was present in all 35 states and territories in India at the time.
Another contribution that Albina has made to propel the awareness of AIDS epidemic was her initiating the World AIDS Orphans Day. After Albina presented UN Secretary General Kofi Annan with two million signatures in support of the day, May 7 was recognized as the special day designated to urging all nations to direct at least 10 percent of their HIV/AIDS funding to the care of AIDS orphans.
With 25 years of presence in India, FXB has been committed to investing in women, children and the AIDS epidemic. FXB has transformed its HIV/AIDS programs into the pioneering FXBVillage Model. Today FXB India Suraksha implements 2 FXBVillages – one in Manipur and one in Tamil Nadu. It also runs a child trafficking hotline and a program for the runaway children in Jaipur.
HIV Congress is an international conference held every year in March, in order to encourage the ongoing research in HIV and its treatment. The HIV Congress 2016 was organized by International Association of Providers of AIDS Care, (IAPAC) the Association of Physicians of India (API), German AIDS Society, and National AIDS Research Institute (NARI.)