Community-Centered Group Helps To Reduce HIV Stigma, Support People Living With HIV In Myanmar

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Myanmar self-help group leading the way for people living with HIV
Patrick Duigan, senior migration health program coordinator, and Liam Best, communications officer, both at the International Organization of Migration

“…In the southeast of [Myanmar], where migration within Myanmar and back and forth to Thailand is a part of life, access to services for HIV including testing, treatment, and care and support is limited, particularly for those in rural areas or on the move. [The International Organization of Migration (IOM)] has been working with the communities and the National AIDS Program to increase access to services for both migrants and host communities. Part of this support includes helping to establish self-help groups like Shwe Nga Lay to empower patients and their families to work together with communities to reduce stigma and provide social supports. The group is made up nearly entirely by those living with HIV and its members are passionate about making a difference in their communities and their own lives. … The group … is making an impact on changing attitudes and reducing stigmatization of people living with HIV. The group strives to be a positive force in their community…” (1/5).