More than 1 in 100 adults in Thailand are infected with HIV. AIDS is one of the top 5 leading causes of death in the country. Due to extreme social exclusion for individuals with HIV, many people are too afraid to get tested or treated.
Fear of stigmitization should not ever stop someone from getting the medical care they need. Mundo advocates that every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect no matter their condition.
Many people are too afraid of admitting they have HIV or seeking treament due to discrimination, hateful attitudes, and exile from their communities- making the reported 500,000 people living with HIV in Thailand just the tip of the iceberg.
Thailand already has one of the highest prevalence rates of HIV in Asia and the Pacific, and that’s not even accounting for the thousands suffering in silence. HIV is a mostly hidden epidemic, with entire communities created just for those suffering with the illness because they have been outcast from their home village.
Even today many people lack knowledge about HIV, such as how it is spread. Individuals living with HIV/AIDS are highly stigmatized and discriminated against. Oftentimes they are rejected by their families and communities, and their children are not welcome in schools.
Because of this there are countless more undocumented cases. Rural Issan is the highest risk region of Thailand.
Mundo Exchange works with the local hospital to provide emotional support, food, medicine, clothing, and transportation, and takes steps to ensure those living with HIV and their children are not ostracized.
Sometimes it’s the children that suffer the most
Oftentimes the child of a parent with HIV suffers just as much whether they have the virus or not. Children associated with the HIV infection are often vulnerable to:
-abandonment by parents and family
-exclusion from school
-exclusion from group peer activities
Remember or imagine your own child coming home in tears after being bullied by peers at school. These children feel the torture and loneliness daily from not only their peers, but the entire community.
Help us put an end to the painful segregation and victimization of children and adults living with HIV.
Did you know
The rates of HIV are rising among young people because of high sexual activity, not using protection, drug use, are sex workers, or are having sex with infected men.
While the rates of HIV from mother to child have been greatly reduced in Thailand, at least one child every day is born with the HIV virus.
There are more than 14,000 children living with HIV in Thailand.
The most vulnerable groups in Thailand include the poor and ethnic minorities and migrants, particularly in the North and Northeast regions.