Fellowship Location: India
Himachal Pradesh State Aids Control Society
Dipika is an undergraduate sophomore at Gallatin concentrating in global health equity with a focus on HIV/AIDS. She is particularly interested in how stigmas related to ethnicity, gender, sexuality, or socio-economic status affects access to health care. In the past, Dipika has worked with Amnesty International on various letter-writing and lobbying initiatives for the "Individuals at Risk" campaign. Currently, Dipika is the chapter leader of FACE AIDS at NYU, a national student empowerment movement committed to fighting HIV/AIDS and supporting comprehensive health care in Rwanda. As a Gallatin Global Human Rights Fellow, Dipika hopes to explore how socio-economic status, lack of education, and cultural taboos increase the risk of HIV/AIDS infection among women and injection drug users. She will work with Himachal Pradesh State Aids Control Society, a state division of India's National AIDS Control Organization. Dipika will visit government-funded AIDS health care facilities to examine how effectively local and national governments have reached out to stigmatized communities and to research initiatives that may be successful in the future. Also, Dipika plans to visit HIV/AIDS prevention- and treatment-based NGOs throughout India to deepen her understanding of the national effort, both governmental and non-governmental, to promote education and combat discrimination surrounding HIV/AIDS.