MEDACROSS - AIDS patients are not alone in Myanmar

by MedAcross
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MEDACROSS - AIDS patients are not alone in Myanmar
MEDACROSS - AIDS patients are not alone in Myanmar
MEDACROSS - AIDS patients are not alone in Myanmar
MEDACROSS - AIDS patients are not alone in Myanmar
MEDACROSS - AIDS patients are not alone in Myanmar
MEDACROSS - AIDS patients are not alone in Myanmar
MEDACROSS - AIDS patients are not alone in Myanmar
MEDACROSS - AIDS patients are not alone in Myanmar
MEDACROSS - AIDS patients are not alone in Myanmar
MEDACROSS - AIDS patients are not alone in Myanmar
MEDACROSS - AIDS patients are not alone in Myanmar

Hello I am San

I was born 26 years ago is in the heart of Myanmar, but my family soon decided to leave our house searching for a job that can better support us. We became migrants, we change homes several times without a specific destination but we continue to go south, close to Thailand where everybody says there are more opportunities. 

We arrived in a small village in the Thanintaryi region where there are endless plantations and we started working with rubber trees, carving the bark of the light and thin rubber trees. It was during a rubber check between the trees that M. and I start to get close. He didn't talk much, but he make me feel like nobody else before. 

He proposes to me on the plantation, among the trees and we soon got married. We built our home close to my family and we lived quietly for two years and I got pregnant. Then M. started to feel always tired, he got frequently sick, by doing a medical check with MedAcross doctors we discovered he has AIDS. It has been a really bad time: in only one year I saw him change completely from the outside, and it affected also his spirit. 

When he died I already know I had HIV too and tuberculosis, but the stage of my disease is strictly under control by MedAcross doctors: I took the antiretroviral therapy and constant checkups, but what happened to M. made me feel really scared about this disease. I do not want to pass it on to my son and I'm afraid to leave him too soon. 

Sister Josephine made me realize that I need to focus on what I am beside my disease, and by keep taking care of my family and being surrounded by the one I love I will be stronger. 

In 2022 MedAcross supports 90 patients who are affected by HIV / AIDS with counselling made by sister Josephine, a special nutritional program and school tuitions for children. This action increases the patient's life by giving everyday support to a long-lasting disease.

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Finding the time to look back it's always difficult, it just never seems the right time because the present is constantly knocking at the door asking to solve problems. 

Yet it is useful to understand how many steps have already been taken, how many challenges we have overcome, especially if the period concerns a pandemic, a lock-down and many other problems!

For MedAcross, 2020 meant above all teamwork, it was strange but we have never felt so close to our Burmese doctors as in the months of lock-down. From a distance, we were able to plan and carry out Covid-19 prevention programs and to continue our medical activities. 

You can read all the results we have achieved together in the 2020 Report and Budget present in our website.

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Lin and Zin, our patients
Lin and Zin, our patients

"I ran into him one day on my way to work, at first I had a hard time recognizing him: he changed so much, become extremely thin and was struggling to keep his back straight. 

I didn't know he had AIDS like me, but I recognized the sign right away. When you share a disease that usually scares people, you learn to understand other people quickly. "

These are the words of Zin, a patient in our support program for AIDS patients when she introduces us to Lin a former co-worker who is now living in her home.

Zin lives with her husband and 11-year-old son, both of whom are not HIV positive, and Zin handles her disease with particular care to avoid infecting her loved ones. The fear of spreading HIV was her only fear before welcoming Lin into her home, but his condition was so bad that she couldn't help but help.

The economic situation in Myanmar at the moment is so bad that poor people have doubled in 2021 since 2019, which will mean that many people will not have access to nutritious food and basic medical care.

Our support program for AIDS patients includes food support for the most vulnerable patients, periodic medical visits and counseling for the management of antiretroviral therapy.

Thank to you, we can provide basic needs to the most needed people in Myanmar. 

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A photo of C. taken in respect of her privacy
A photo of C. taken in respect of her privacy

C. is one of our patients from the HIV Medacross program, she asks to respect her anonymity as there is a strong stigma among AIDS victims in Myanmar. 

C. was born on an island close to the Irrawaddy delta, an area that has been hardly damaged by the Nargis cyclone in 2008. Her family house and the land she cultivated together with her community were suddenly destroyed. Overnight part of her family and friends disappeared in the float. 
None of the places she grew up was recognizable so she and her sister decided to move south to find a better job that could help the family. When C. and her sister arrived in Kawthaung, they trust the wrong person that trapped them into sex work
Eventually, C. meets a man and fell in love with him, they got married and change their lives, but traces of her past follow her and a few years later C. starts to feel always sick. She discovered to have AIDS, high hypertension, and diabetes. She lost her job and start living with AIDS stigma. 
MedAcross doctors take care of her health: we take under control her chronic diseases for free and nurses help her registering to take national antiretroviral therapy. C. is grateful every time she came to MedAcross clinic "here doctors help me heal physically and emotionally. I've suffered a lot for be bad treated by people for this disease."
Thank to all our supporters we can help people like C. every month, offering medical visits, medicines, and counseling to live with this difficult illness. Your action of giving may take you few minutes, but helps lonely people for a year and we are committed to telling you the real impact we make together!
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For the last two months, we work in close contact with our partner the Sisters of RNDM, to make sure that all people who are in need of help is supported. We provided medical support with clinical tests, medical visit and pharmacies and for the families most in need, we help them with nutritional support. We provide basic support consisting of 30 kg of rice, 2 litres of oil, eggs and 25 litres of clean water that is particularly expensive in these dry months. 

Moreover, we help the families with medical counselling sessions to avoid any spread of the virus among the other family members and most importantly, we follow closely their procedure for HIV therapy and when is needed we manage to collect the medications for the patients and giving them respecting their privacy. 

At the moment we enlarge our support to all the patients that were on waiting lists and who suffer economical complication due to covid-19 crisis. We think that the picture of our grateful patients will speak for us telling how much you helped. 


P.s. Dear friends,

today we woke up with unexpected news from newspapers and, more importantly, from our colleagues in Myanmar: the political situation of the country is extremely fragile at the moment and it has been declared the state of emergency. Internet and telephone communication has been interrupted for some hours. When the connection was available again, we immediately reach out to the local staff for news and it seems that all the country is living in a suspended time waiting for the next move to come.

Our goal is to help people who do not have access to medical care and we intend to pursue our goal of friendship without political implications.

I will keep you informed in the next days

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Organization Information


Location: Turin, Piedmont - Italy
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Erika Vitale
Turin, Piedmont Italy

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