Despite HIV-health care being free for Thai citizens, some people from ethnic communities slip through the net. Oxfam is helping by providing HIV-prevention advice, medicines and home-based care in some of Thailand’s HIV and AIDS hotspots.
Much of this support comes through Oxfam-trained health volunteers like health centre worker, Jiraporn Seasern: "I received training and information about HIV, and now I can do home visits."
"Most people living with HIV don't talk about it, but they can tell me things that they may not even tell the doctors. And I teach them how to protect themselves, where to get the right medicines, and about preventing or treating mother-to-child transmission." This includes visiting mums like Ar-lang at home morning and evening not only to provide support, but to help her give her youngest their anti-retroviral medication, ensuring that baby Sirikorn keeps well.
Oxfam helps to organise and train local community advisory boards, made up of health professionals, community leaders and people living with HIV and AIDS, who spread the word within their communities and support home visits for those most in need.
Another aspect to Oxfam's involvement is to support those living with HIV and AIDS to lead normal lives – especially many young people who are now approaching adolescence – and to help eradicate the stigma that still exists.