Glory Alexander

Ashoka Fellow
India,
Fellow Since 2004
Asha Foundation

Citation

This profile was prepared when Glory Alexander was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
The New Idea
Hospitals in India encourage discrimination against persons with HIV/AIDS when they fail to see the disease as a normal ailment, manageable through a modest set of precautions and treatments. Glory fights such discrimination by professionalizing the treatment of the disease, altering hospital procedures and attitudes among staff with an eye toward fully integrating work on HIV/AIDS into routine medical care.
Glory works with prenatal programs in individual hospitals as a starting point for system-wide change. Because pregnant women often seek out disease education during their term, and because doctors tend to view them with great sympathy, they are an ideal population for her integration programs. Once the programs prove their merit among this group, Glory works with staff throughout the hospital to improve policies, procedures, and staff attitudes toward HIV/AIDS. She spreads these advances far and wide using existing networks of hospitals in south India.
Glory’s eventual goal is for people with HIV/AIDS to be treated with the same dignity as people without the disease. Integration of HIV/AIDS treatments in medicine is only a first step toward her larger goals of tolerance and inclusion. She draws inspiration for her work from battles recently won against the stigma and fear attached to tuberculosis. At one stage tuberculosis programs were segregated as well, but now they are a part of the hospital routine, leaving persons with the illness better understood and less victimized. Glory strives to win similar victories in the management of HIV/AIDS. In a country where doctors are treated with almost godlike respect, she believes genuine changes in doctors’ attitudes and behavior will translate into greater progress among the people as a whole.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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