22 May '11, 8am

#Myanmar's sex worker clinics offer solace from stigma #sexworkers

YANGON - WHEN Thida Win contracted HIV after selling her body on the Yangon streets, it was her fellow sex workers that she turned to, not Myanmar's crumbling health service. The Top project, run almost entirely by those in the sex trade, gave her treatment, a place to be herself away from the dual stigma of HIV and prostitution - and eventually a job. 'I am now a health worker for my community and I can forget I am positive. I am so proud to work for the programmes, I will work for them for my whole life,' the 33-year-old told AFP. Top and similar projects are a vital resource in army-dominated Myanmar, where a chronically underfunded health service, large itinerant populations and poor education fuel one of Asia's worst HIV epidemics. 'When I was diagnosed I was pregnant and they told me how to find a safe way for the baby. So the child is negative and I am so happy,' Th...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/SEAsia/Story/STI...

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straitstimes.com 22 May '11, 10am

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