In a huge step towards ending harmful stigma and discrimination towards the LGBTQ community and people living with HIV, Impulse Group India kicked off the start of Pride Month with a bang by launching its newest chapter in Mumbai on June 1.
“The addition of Mumbai’s Impulse chapter is another example of how much progress we have made towards creating a safer and more equitable environment for the LGBTQ community in India,” said AHF Ambassador and the world’s first openly gay member of a royal family Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil of Rajpipla in Gujarat state. “From working to decriminalize homosexuality in the country to ensuring equal human rights for all LGBTQ—we must never stop fighting against injustice and for equal access to healthcare for all people living with HIV.”
Impulse New Delhi, an AHF India Cares partner, was first launched in the capital in 2013 as a safe space for men who have sex with men—with a particular focus towards health and wellbeing. The newest chapter in Mumbai brings Impulse’s total to 25 cities globally and provides an innovative platform to promote healthier lifestyles.
“Impulse Mumbai brings the young and vulnerable LGBTQ population together in a safe, non-stigmatizing environment and provides a new model for Indian culture,” said Impulse India Program Manager Bismaya Raulo. “We were very excited that so many people attended the event, and we’re especially grateful for the contributions of Prince Manvendra, who’s been so vital to the progress we’ve made across the country.”
Roughly 350 people attended the inaugural Impulse Mumbai launch party and 69 people were tested for HIV. UNAIDS estimates that there are approximately 2.1 million people living with HIV and 88,000 new annual infections in India.