Dominic D’Souza

Dominic D’Souza - Our Founder

Positive People was founded by Dominic D’Souza, the first HIV positive activist from Goa. D’Souza, a resident of Goa, was found to be HIV-positive when he donated blood at a hospital. The test was performed without his knowledge or consent, and the results were revealed not to him, but to the local police. D’Souza was subsequently arrested and confined in an unused TB sanatorium pursuant to the Goa, Daman and Diu Public Health Act, 1985, an amendment to which in 1986 authorized the State to mandatorily test any person for HIV and isolate them if they tested HIV-positive. He challenged the Goa Public Health Amendment Act, which called for mandatory isolation of an HIV positive person. He won a partial victory when the court ruled detainment was mandatory only in a “justifiable” case. His legacy continues through Positive People, the NGO he started to help people living with HIV. Later, on being released Dominic went on to publicly declare his HIV status and asserting that he had every right to live a normal life. From those bold beginnings, Positive People has grown to the largest operational NGO in Goa, addressing various issues related to HIV prevention, care and support, advocacy, training and research.