Supporting community action on AIDS in developing countries
International HIV/AIDS Alliance in
In Myanmar, the Alliance focuses on promoting the health and rights of people living with, and most affected by, HIV. This includes men who have sex with men and female sex workers. We support local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community-based organisations (CBOs) to strengthen the countryâ€™s response to HIV. We build the capacity of civil society in preventing HIV and we also provide treatment, care and support to people living with HIV. Our current work is primarily supported by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and the European Union.
THE SITUATION Myanmar is the largest country in mainland South-East Asia. With a population of about 58 million, Myanmar is a mosaic of ethnicities, cultures, languages and religions. Approximately 32% of its population live below the poverty line. The general state of health care in Myanmar is poor. It is one of 57 countries worldwide facing a critical shortage of medical staff, defined as fewer than 23 health workers per 10,000 people, the minimum needed to provide 80% coverage for births and measles immunisations, according to the World Health Organization. Most villages lack basic healthcare. Patients travel hours, up to an entire day in some rural areas, to reach hospitals or clinics
located only in towns. Public hospitals lack many basic facilities and equipment. HIV in Myanmar is most prevalent among sex workers, men who have sex with men, and injecting drug users. The estimated adult HIV prevalence rate in Myanmar is 1.3 % (200,000 570,000 people), one of the highest in Asia, according to UNAIDS. However, the National AIDS Programme found that 9.4% of sex workers and 7.8% of men who have sex with men are HIV positive. An estimated 20,000 people die from AIDS related illnesses annually.
HOW THE ALLIANCE IS HELPING IN MYANMAR Since 2004, we have worked with 25 community-based organisations reaching over 16,000 people annually, and we have contributed to a steady rise in access to HIV prevention, treatment and care. Through our experience we know that supporting local organisations is essential to addressing the epidemic.
We have: • Provided targeted HIV prevention services for female sex workers and men who have sex with men. This includes condom promotion, community outreach, drop-in centres, sexuality education, psychosocial counselling, and referrals to voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services • Reached over 7800 people with care and support, including 443 people with antiretroviral therapy (ART), in 2011 • Fostered the development of a strong and viable national network of people living with HIV, the Myanmar Positive Group (MPG)
Our reach: 2011 Number of NGOs and CBOs supported
Number of people reached through our HIV prevention activities
Number of people reached with our care and support work
By supporting the development of community organisations, the Alliance is contributing to a more vibrant civil society for the future of Myanmar as it continues to reform.