Our goal until 2021 is to prevent those people living at high risk of getting HIV/AIDS from being affected and to improve the treatment of those who are already infected. We intend to make sure that 90% of all people living with HIV/AIDS in our program take regular medication by the end of 2021. Moreover, we plan that 85% of the youths living in high risk areas change their attitude towards HIV until 2021.
The prevention of HIV and the care for people living with HIV/ AIDS is and has always been our most important task. The fight against HIV/AIDS has been a major success in Cambodia: the number of new infections went down from 21,000 (1995) to less then 1,000 (2017). But still there are many people living with HIV/AIDS who are not properly cared for. Furthermore, the infection rate of entertainment/sex workers who have more than 7 clients a week is still as high as 14% and only 52,1% of people in a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship use condoms. This may be caused by the insufficient attention paid to this problem by the communes. Additionally, there has been a huge budget cut in the last 10 years, about 65% of all provincial based non-governmental organizations had to stop their work because they had insufficient funds.
To prevent the spreading of HIV/AIDS we conduct and support many awareness sessions with about 2,400 people who are at high risk of getting infected in Siem Reap, Battambang and Phnom Penh. Furthermore, we organize financial and mental support, blood testings and if necessary doctor’s visits to get the people tested for HIV/Aids. For these tasks we work closely with monks and other trusted employees to conduct home visits and to spread information about HIV/AIDS.
People living with HIV/AIDS often face a difficult life. They have to take medicine regularly, are often excluded from the society, cannot do any hard work and struggle with mental problems due to their nonexistent future perspectives.
To improve the lives of these people and their family members who often suffer under their relatives’ illness, we support them financially and mentally. We finance regular doctor visit for them, keep track of their lives to ensure that they get proper treatment, support them through regular home visits and mental counseling and try to integrate them into society. Moreover, we donate food, health supplies and other material to 1,050 people living with HIV/AIDS who are in great need in order to ensure that they can live a dignified and healthy life. To prevent these people from malnutrition is a very important aspect because of their unsteady health situation due to their HIV infection.
We also train our staff on HIV/AIDS related matters to ensure that they can work sufficiently and can spread their knowledge among other people also working in this field. To strengthen the communication between health and social workers, hospitals, communes and other institutions we conduct regular network meetings. During these meetings we share our experiences, try to solve upcoming problems and to ensure the appropriate treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS.
Moreover, we support poor families who have lost relatives to HIV/AIDS. Through financial and emotional support we ensure that the families get the chance to say an honorable farewell to their loved ones. Our monks help them through this tough time by helping them to organize the funeral and by visiting them regularly, so that we can ensure that they manage their lives after such a great misfortune.