As part of its Operation Lighthouse Project, Population Services International (PSI) India runs a Saadhan Helpline for HIV/AIDS prevention in the four port cities namely Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Chennai and Kolkata.
Operational since September 2003, the Saadhan Helpline is the only private HIV/AIDS located in Visakhapatnam. Currently operational from 10am to 7pm Monday through Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturday, the helpline is staffed by 3 counselors (both male and female counselors).
The Help line provides a call-to-action to target audiences to discuss their questions and concerns related to HIV/AIDS and sexual health. Counselors help callers through difficult times: for example, they may provide support to callers who have recently learned that they are HIV-positive. They also provide health information and counseling on topics such as sexuality, masturbation, contraception, pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
A doctor is also available between 11am-12am everyday, if callers wish to speak with one. The purpose of the Helpline is to provide callers with complete and accurate information and counseling on HIV/AIDS and to refer them to appropriate health and social services. It also features customized software designed to improve the communication with callers. The computer software package was designed to complement helpline services. The software, which operates on 4 computers at the call-in centre, contains a data bank with a list of health and social services for referral.