February 25, 2024
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Breaking the Stigma, One Cup at a Time: The Inspiring Story of Café Positive

Café Positive is a unique café in Kolkata, India that is entirely managed and operated by HIV-positive men and women. The café was founded by Kallol Ghosh in 2016 with the goal of eradicating negative stereotypes and misconceptions about people living with HIV.

Despite the significant progress made in HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention in recent years, the stigma and discrimination towards those living with the virus still persist in many parts of the world. In India, people living with HIV often face social exclusion, discrimination, and limited employment opportunities due to the stigma associated with the virus.

Kallol Ghosh, who himself is HIV-positive, recognized the need to create a safe and welcoming space for people living with HIV to work and socialize without fear of discrimination. He envisioned Café Positive as a place where people could come together to enjoy good food and coffee while also breaking down the barriers that exist between HIV-positive and negative individuals.

When the café first opened, it faced some resistance from the community, as many people were hesitant to eat food prepared by HIV-positive individuals. However, Café Positive’s staff, who had received extensive training in food preparation and hygiene, soon won over the hearts of their customers with their warm and friendly service.

The café quickly gained popularity and media attention, which helped spread the message of inclusion and acceptance for people living with HIV. Café Positive has since become a successful business, providing employment opportunities and a sense of purpose to many HIV-positive individuals who had previously faced significant challenges in finding work.

Apart from providing employment opportunities, Café Positive also serves as a platform for HIV awareness and education. The café hosts regular events and workshops to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, including free HIV testing and counseling services. In addition, the café’s staff often shares their personal stories and experiences with customers to help break down the stigma surrounding HIV and create a more compassionate and understanding society.

In conclusion, Café Positive is an inspiring success story that demonstrates the power of acceptance and inclusion. Through Kallol Ghosh’s vision and dedication, the café has become a beacon of hope for people living with HIV, providing them with not only employment opportunities but also a sense of belonging and purpose. By breaking down barriers and changing perceptions, Café Positive is helping to create a more inclusive and compassionate society for all.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

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