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HIV Prevention Project Underway in Champassak

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The Integrated Development Project for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS has launched in Champassak province to prevent the risk of human exploitation and trafficking and risk of sexually contracted infections.

The project is now in its second phase in Phonthong district and runs from 2016-2019. The project targets six villages which are close to the Thai border and therefore vulnerable to the risks of unsafe migration.

The risks include those of abuse, drugs, human exploitation and trafficking and sexually contracted infections. All of these risks have the potential to damage lives, so the project is focused on their prevention.

The first phase of the project from 2012-2015 in Phonthong district provided assistance to local HIV-contracted families for their physical and psychological health as well to improve their living standards.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony to continue the Integrated Development Project for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS took place in Vientiane on Friday, inked by Head of the Champassak provincial Health Department Mr Somkiat Vorralath and Country Director of World Concern Laos Mr Nigel Goddard.

Mr Goddard said World Concern Laos has had the privilege of serving the Lao people since 1983, working in Luang Namtha, Saravan, Xekong and Champassak provinces.

We are currently working through integrated development projects in Saravan and Champassak provinces, working to strengthen communities in their capacity for livelihoods, health education, and protection, he said.

We see prevention as better, more cost effective and more effective in alleviating suffering than cure.

That is why this project focuses on awareness raising, vocational training, leadership and community development in order to promote a more protective environment, which helps prevent unsafe migration and its risks, he added.

If villagers who migrate are aware of how to protect themselves and how to migrate safely then they will be less likely to fall into dangerous situations or contract HIV and spread it in their home villages .

If villages have strong governance they will be better protected by their leaders, and with improved livelihoods and quality of life in their own village they are less likely to choose to migrate to risky situations.

Source: Vientiane Times