Yone Lay is a transgender woman and peer educator who provides health education and referrals at a drop-in center in Yangon, Myanmar. She works with Population Services International (PSI)’s Targeted Outreach Program (TOP) that aims to meet the needs of key populations that are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, including men who have sex with men, transgender people and female sex workers. PSI is a project partner of the USAID HIV/AIDS Flagship (UHF) project managed by UNAIDS through Community Partners International (CPI). Here Yone Lay discusses her responsibilities as a peer educator, her hopes for the transgender community in Myanmar, and the changes she would like to help realize in the future.
As part of the USAID HIV/AIDS Flagship (UHF) project managed by UNAIDS through Community Partners International (CPI), project partner Metta Development Foundation (Metta) helps establish and support Local AIDS Committees (LACs) for HIV/AIDS prevention in communities in Kachin State and Shan State, Myanmar. We recently sat down with Daw Saw Yu Htwe, an LAC member at Metta’s project site in Nant Mon, Kachin State, to discuss how her perception of people who inject drugs (PWID) has changed through her involvement with the committee, and the importance of increasing access to harm reduction services within her community.
As part of the USAID HIV/AIDS Flagship (UHF) project managed by UNAIDS through Community Partners International (CPI), project partner Metta Development Foundation (Metta) operates drop-in centers in Kachin and Shan States to support people who inject drugs (PWID) and people living with HIV (PLHIV). Alongside HIV testing and counseling (HTC), Metta utilizes a harm reduction approach at its centers, focused on minimizing the risks and harm associated with drug use. Harm reduction services include the Needle and Syringe Exchange Program (NSEP) for people who inject drugs (PWIDs). The centers also offer clients opportunities to participate in additional activities such as art therapy.
During a recent art therapy session at a Metta drop-in center in Kachin State, CPI spoke with clients about their paintings and their lives. These are the human stories of hardship and hope within the drug and HIV epidemics in Kachin State.
Daw Su Su lives in a small, neatly-kept wooden house with a tin roof on the outskirts of Pyin Oo Lwin, Mandalay Region. Her house sits on short stilts, raised above the hard-packed dirt road that leads past her front door. The neighborhood is quiet when we visit. The houses are crowded together in close proximity.
Naw Poe lives with her husband and two-year-old son in Hsar Pwel Htar, a remote village in Myanmar’s Tanintharyi Region in the southeast of the country. The village has no health clinic. The nearest one is about two hours drive by motorbike across difficult terrain. During the monsoon season, the dirt tracks that connect villages are often impassable.