According to UK-based organization: "Thailand has one of the highest HIV prevalence in Asia and the Pacific, accounting for 9% of the region’s total population of people living with HIV. [...] Of Thailand’s population of more than of nearly 70 million, it was estimated that 450,000 people were living with HIV in 2016 and that 16,000 people died of AIDS-related illnesses".
Khiang Rim Khong (เคียงริมโขง) translates from Thai as ‘Alongside the Mekong River’. Khiang Rim Khong was founded in 1997 (Buddhist year: 2540) in the district of Chiang Khong, by Chitrada Rattanapun. KRK is a grassroots NGO located in Ban Huai So, Chiang Rai, Thailand. Chitrada Rattanapun was looking for a way to help sufferers of HIV and AIDS in the region.
P'Pan started to work as a volunteer at Khiang Rim Khong and in 2005, she took over the organization as director. Today, she and her partner P'Got enthusiastically continue to run the organization. They both have personal experience with the infection and its effects on relatives. P´Pan’s husband died of AIDS and she was diagnosed with HIV at only 22 years old. Even since, she has been ostracized by many people from her own community. P’Got had a slightly similar experience, as he was misdiagnosed with HIV over a decade ago and consequently faced severe discrimination by members of his community.
With over 20 years of experience, they have successfully created a judgement-free space in Ban Huai So district. This space run by KRK is known as the Small Smile Centre. This office is used as a health centre for teenagers and people of the community where services can be accessed.
People with HIV/AIDS in the Chiang Khong district were confronted with stigmas from both hospitals and their own community. Treatment was considered pointless, as people believed they would die shortly after being diagnosed. Khiang Rim Khong's aim is to sensitize people to the virus as well as provide them with treatment and counselling. The non-profit provides workshops educating their district on HIV/AIDS, free testing, counselling, contraception and focus on youth empowerment. The organization also provides workshops to parents in the community, as well as to high school students around the district.
In 2019, Khiang Rim Khong wants to reach out to 3 schools to talk about HIV/AIDS/STDs with over 1,500 students. The more funding we receive, the more activities we can organize for students providing knowledge about sexual health, and the more condoms we can distribute in schools for free. Your donations will also be used to buy workshop materials to train new, young leaders. These teenagers will have the opportunity to develop and enhance their skills through KRK's workshops. They will play an important role in promotion of sexual education to their own generation and beyond.
Your donations will also help Khiang Rim Khong to pay the rent for the facility from which we distribute free condoms as well as counselling and information about contraceptive services.
Finally, your financial support will enable us to make sure that everybody in need will get a qualified referral for medical treatment in hospitals or other welfare services in the area. Indeed, by donating, you will become part of creating a network of health and social services for teenagers and the whole community of Khiang Rim Khong!
So, please help us to save lives: DONATE and/or SHARE!
* AVERT (2019) https://www.avert.org/professionals/hiv-around-wor... (Accessed 01/03/2019).