Programme de Médecins du Monde en Birmanie. © Sophie Brandstrom

Myanmar

220,000

people in Myanmar are HIV-positive

70%

of new HIV infections are affecting the communities most at risk

45%

of those infected have no access to antiretrovirals

The situation in Myanmar

le h2 est arrivé

le h3 est arrivé

le h4 est arrivé

Aids - an epidemic affecting the most vulnerable

 

Myanmar has one of the largest AIDS epidemics in Southeast Asia. Of the 220,000 people living with HIV, around 126,500 who are in urgent need of antiretrovirals don’t always have access to treatment. Geographical isolation, the limited capacity of public institutions, punitive legislation and discrimination are among the obstacles encountered in tackling AIDS and HIV in Myanmar.

 

Harm reduction in Myanmar

 

HIV particularly affects people who inject drugs – 28.5% of them are infected nationwide. In the rural Kachin State in northern Myanmar, access to HIV prevention and treatment services is all the more difficult since people who use drugs face multiple discrimination. They are especially discriminated against by religious anti-drugs communities known as "Pat Jasan".

Although the prevalence of HIV is less than 1% in the general population, 70% of new infections occur in the groups which are most at risk: sex workers, men who have sex with men and people who inject drugs.

Furthermore, 14.6% of sex workers and 11.6% of men who have sex with men are affected by the epidemic. Also subject to significant discrimination, these people are rarely reached by awareness-raising, screening and treatment programmes.

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

Our activities in Mayanmar

Médecins du Monde supports the Ministry of Health and Sports with a comprehensive package of harm reduction services. Our programmes provide prevention, treatment and support services for key groups, such as sex workers and men who have sex with men in Yangon and people who inject drugs in Kachin.

 

At-risk populations

SUpporting sex workers in Yangon

Médecins du Monde France has been working with the sex worker community and men who have sex with men in Yangon, in southern Myanmar, since 2000. 

Through a network of community-based peer educators, Médecins du Monde’s HIV/AIDS prevention activities have provided support to thousands of individuals potentially at risk of infection. We have also set up a static clinic which sees over one thousand people every year. Apart from antiretroviral treatment, people who come to the clinic can obtain advice and be tested for other diseases such as tuberculosis or sexually transmitted infections.

Médecins du Monde also works together with other organisations and peer support groups. Advocacy and awareness-raising campaigns are organised to improve the everyday lives of the key groups affected and with the aim of securing access for them to services tackling HIV/AIDS and enabling them to exercise their rights.

Rangoun
Rangoun

In 2019

We helped:

  • supported 4,500 sex workers and men who have sex with men
  • supported 2,450 at-risk clients with screening tests and counselling services
  • provided 1,150 people with antiretroviral treatment, counselling and healthcare services
  • distributed over 630,000 condoms for the key affected populations
  •  

 

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

SUPPORTING PEOPLE WHO INJECT DRUGS
 

In Kachin State, in the north of the country, Médecins du Monde works with people who use drugs and who are particularly affected by infectious diseases. In some of the places where we work over half of people who inject drugs are HIV-positive and, of these, 70% are also infected with hepatitis C.

Médecins du Monde promotes a harm reduction approach and works in three townships and through outreach activities, supported by a network of community workers. This community-based model means a wide range of services can be offered to people who inject drugs, including HIV testing, counselling and treatment; primary healthcare; hepatitis B vaccination and screening for hepatitis C; screening for and treatment of STIs and tuberculosis; and referral to healthcare and support services. Médecins du Monde also offers access to substitution therapy using methadone. Prevention supplies are distributed (condoms, sterile syringes, water and alcohol swabs) and health education workshops and antiretroviral treatment are offered to get people who use drugs involved in prevention activities.

 

In addition, Médecins du Monde is strengthening its work in Myanmar by offering training activities to local authorities, civil society organisations and support groups with the aim of achieving greater acceptance of harm reduction programmes in communities in Myanmar.

 

Médecins du Monde is actively involved in advocacy work. We took part in the process of legislative reform on drugs and have presented our harm reduction programme in Myanmar at three international conferences.

 

In 2019

  • 5,300 people who inject drugs had access to prevention services

  • 2,200 people received antiretroviral treatment

  • 3,500 people who use drugs had access to opioid substitution therapy using methadone

  • 655,000 condoms were distributed

  • 333 people who use drugs received treatment for hepatitis C

  • training was delivered to 610 peer educators, healthcare professionals and groups of people who use drug

 

our institutional support

Le Fonds mondial de lutte contre le sida, la tuberculose et le paludisme soutient Médecins du Monde
History
1994
First HIV project in Kachin State. Prevention activities for people who inject drugs.
2000
Opening of a programme in Yangon for sex workers.
2002
Opening of the first medical care and treatment centre. Provision of antiretroviral treatment.
2006
Médecins du Monde obtains authorisation to provide methadone.
2008
Cyclone Nargis: emergency intervention in the Pyapon delta. Improvement in care and treatment for mothers and children.
2013
Intervention for people displaced by the internal conflict in Kachin.
2014
End of programme for displaced people in Kachin.
2016
Launch of a programme in partnership with the Metta Development Foundation in Kachin.

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