Phase 1 (1994 – 1998)
Phase 1 of the AIDS Project was started in 1994 in order to learn the actual status of HIV infection in Northeastern Thailand, to prevent spread of HIV infections, to deepen understanding and awareness about HIV/AIDS, and to help the community to support the infected people. Our activities included, amongst other things, training of health volunteers, village leaders, housewives, youth groups and students regarding “knowledge, awareness, attitude, planning, and implementation of AIDS” so that we would be able to have leaders capable of providing health education for villagers. We offered AIDS education and campaigns in primary schools, middle schools, and universities, aiming at the diffusion of correct knowledge for prevention, understanding of those infected by HIV, and creating communities where people can live without discrimination. We organized HIV-positive mothers’ group in a hospital in Amnat Charoen Province and created a place where they could meet regularly, receive health guidance and discuss problems.
Phase 2 (1999 – 2003)
Phase 1 ended in 1998, and Phase 2 was started in 1999. We worked together with community groups and PLWHA (People Living With HIV) groups in order for the villagers to accept HIV-positive people and their families, overcome their discrimination, and solve the problems caused by AIDS as the patients and villagers worked together. In order for people to regard AIDS as a familiar problem, trainings were offered to village leaders, housewives and youth groups, teachers and children on such issues as sex and AIDS, how to care for patients at home, and counseling. As for HIV-positive groups, activities in hospitals were vigorously conducted, and necessary knowledge and places of learning were offered to the group members. From among the HIV-positive groups, some became leaders to organize home visit programs under which members could help and encourage each other.
Phase 3 (2003 – 2007)
AIDS Project continuing from Phase 2, which ended in 2003, was launched anew in Ubon Ratchathani and Amnat Charoen Provinces. From among people in the communities where the project was implemented, there appeared AIDS volunteers interested in the problems related to AIDS in their villages and willing to join the project. Leaders of the HIV-positive groups who have been studying AIDS and took the initiative in continuing the group activities, cooperating with AIDS volunteers in the communities, and began playing active roles in HIV prevention and awareness. Thus, SHARE started community support for HIV-positive people.
Phase 4 (2008-Present)
SHARE Thailand moved its operational headquarters to a new area in Khemarat District in Ubonratchathani province after health stakeholders, the leaders of PLWHA in the previous field, gained the necessary skills and knowledge to become self-reliant and conduct PLWHA group activities without SHARE support. The reasons prompting the move to Khemarat District are 1. Geographic location. 2. The existence of vulnerable groups. 3. The existence of a serious problem with HIV/AIDS. 4. No NGO existence. 1. Khemarat is a Thai-Lao border area where the temporary immigration of migrant laborers from Lao PDR exists on a daily basis. 2. The Thai Ministry of Public Health indicates that there are several groups vulnerable to HIV/AIDS in Khemarat, such as migrant labor, MSM (Men who have Sex with Men), youth, PLWHA. 3. Preparatory research illustrated the seriousness of the HIV/AIDS situation in Khemarat, which at the time contained the second highest number of PLWHA among eight districts on the Thai-Lao border area in Ubonratchathani province. (After 2008, the highest number of PLWHA was recorded in Khemarat). 4. There were no NGOs in Khemarat district before SHARE’s intervention, prompting the start of the current project.