Programme de Médecins du Monde en Birmanie. © Sophie Brandstrom



people are HIV-positive


HIV-positive people have no access to antiretrovirals


le h2 est arrivé

le h3 est arrivé

le h4 est arrivé

Aids, an epidemic which affects the most vulnerable

Burma has one of the biggest Aids epidemics in south-east Asia. Of the 230,000 people living with the virus, almost 126,500 who are in urgent need of antiretrovirals, still have no access to treatment.  

People who use drugs are massively affected by HIV: at national level, 26.3% are infected. In Kachin state, access to prevention and treatment services is even more difficult for them than elsewhere because of the armed conflict and the discrimination which they suffer. Almost half of them are infected with HIV. Sex workers are the other group of people most affected by the epidemic. They also suffer a great deal of discrimination and are rarely included in awareness building or screening and treatment programmes. So, in certain towns and regions, the rate of screening for Aids amongst sex workers is only 28%, and inclusion in prevention activities is 15%.

A beneficiary suffering from tuberculosis. © William Daniels
A beneficiary suffering from tuberculosis. © William Daniels

What we do

People exposed to risks

Helping sex workers

Since 2014, Doctors of the World has worked with the sex worker community in Rangoon. The association operates with peer educators in mobile clinics to prevent, screen for and treat HIV. It has also set up a fixed clinic where over one thousand sex workers are seen every year. In addition to antiretroviral treatment, they can receive counselling and be screened for other diseases such as tuberculosis.  

Doctors of the World also works with other local organisations and peer support groups to offer nutrition activities to sex workers, as well as income generating activities for those who wish. Otherwise, the association works closely with the Ministry of Health to support its decentralisation policy and the national plan to combat HIV. 


In 2018

We helped:

  • 1,561 sex workers and 1,921 men having sex with men who had access to prevention activities

  • 920 sex workers who had HIV screening tests

  • 1,128 people who received antiretroviral treatment


A peer educator is instructing sex workers about the various precautions to be taken in a guest house. © William Daniels
A peer educator is instructing sex workers about the various precautions to be taken in a guest house. © William Daniels


At risk populations


In Kachin state, in the north of the country, Doctors of the World works with people who use drugs, who are particularly susceptible to infectious diseases. They are provided with prevention material (condoms, sterile needles). There is screening for HIV, Tuberculosis and Hepatitis. Educational workshops on health and antiretroviral treatment are provided to try to involve users in prevention activities.

Doctors of the World currently manages four clinics in collaboration with a team of health professionals and peer educators. There, the association conducts prevention and awareness raising activities and provides substitution treatment by methadone. 

It also reinforces its training activity with the local authorities and civil society stakeholders. The objective is to develop harm reduction activities in Kachin, to reduce violence against drug users and to promote the methadone substitution programme.


The State of Kachin
The State of Kachin

In 2018

We helped:

  • 8,064 people who use drugs have had access to harm reduction activities

  • 3,383 people who use drugs and other vulnerable people had screening tests

  • 2,189 people who use drugs receive antiretroviral treatment



Since May 2016, Doctors of the World, in partnership with the Metta Development Foundation, conducts an innovative programme based on the respective areas of expertise of the two organisations. Thus Doctors of the World will build the capacity of Metta with regards to harm reduction and they in turn will support our teams in community approaches to prevention. This will allow a larger number of people to be reached in the areas where we work.

To do this a joint training centre has been set up. Prevention and awareness raising activities have been implemented in order to promote attendance at harm reduction services by the communities.   

The State of Kachin
The State of Kachin

In 2018

42 trainings were organized for 627 people with various professions: coordinators, animators, volunteers, peer educators, social workers

our institutional support

6 800 000 € (2017-2020)
Le Fonds mondial de lutte contre le sida, la tuberculose et le paludisme soutient Médecins du Monde
Medical consultation. © Sophie Brandstrom
Medical consultation. © Sophie Brandstrom
Initial contact with the country, ad-hoc surgical assignments.
First HIV project in the State of Kachin. Preventive measures carried out for drug users by injection.
First HIV project in Kachin state. Prevention activities with injecting drug users.
Opening of a programme in Rangoon with sex workers.
Opening of the first medical care centre. Provision of antiretroviral treatment (ARV).
Doctors of the World obtains authorisation to issue methadone.
After the Nargis Cyclone, an emergency operation was carried out in the Pyapon delta.
Intervention with people displaced by the independence conflict in Kachin.
End of the programme with displaced people in Kachin.
Launch of joint programme with the Metta Development Foundation in Kachin.

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