Shomshida lives in the world’s largest and most densely populated refugee camp, Kutupalong, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Kutupalong is currently home to more than 600,000 Rohingya refugees from Rakhine State. Myanmar. She shares her small shelter, a rickety structure of bamboo and tarpaulin, with her husband and two-year old son. In late August 2017, she fled the violence in Rakhine State with her extended family. They walked for 15 days through jungle and across rivers, eventually reaching the border and crossing into Bangladesh. Her elderly father was unable to walk so they carried him throughout the arduous journey.
Daw Theint Su, a peer educator at Population Services International’s (PSI) TOP Centers (formerly the Targeted Outreach Program), has been living with HIV since 2003. Here she shares her experiences and talks about her work supporting HIV education and prevention.
Community Voices: "By taking every opportunity that we had to explain our activities, people started to understand."
In cities in Kachin State, HIV prevalence among people who inject drugs (PWID) is nearly 50%. To reduce transmission of HIV and other viruses through the sharing of contaminated needles and syringes, Metta Development Foundation (Metta) is working to increase access to harm reduction services such as the Needle Syringe Exchange Program (NSEP) at drop-in center locations. Harm reduction "is an evidence-based approach to HIV prevention, treatment and care for people who inject drug[s]," and is part of a wider strategy to address the high HIV prevalence among PWID in Kachin State. These services are supported by the USAID HIV/AIDS Flagship (UHF) Project, funded by USAID under PEPFAR through UNAIDS Myanmar with project implementation support and management to partner organizations. provided by Community Partners International (CPI).
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.