New York Times Profiles Women’s HIV/AIDS Support Group in Vietnam
The New York Times on Sunday profiled a support group for HIV-positive women living in Haiphong, Vietnam, where HIV-positive people are "widely shunned, where drugs are scarce and treatment is expensive." More than 250,000 HIV-positive people live in Vietnam, and it is estimated that only 10% are receiving the treatment they need, according to UNAIDS. According to the Times, some HIV/AIDS advocates say the stigma surrounding the disease is one of the "chief barriers to prevention and treatment." Pham Thi Hue, a 26-year-old who contracted HIV from her husband, in 2003 founded Haiphong Red Flamboyant, a support group that has enrolled "scores" of women, the Times reports. The women in the group "have chosen to look directly into the face of the suffering that lies ahead -- nursing, cleaning and feeding the sick, collecting the bodies of people who die alone in hospitals or on the streets and attending the funerals of those whose families have turned their backs," according to the Times. Many women have participated in the group since its founding, and its success has spurred similar groups in the country. Hue, who receives small grants from international aid groups, works for the local Communist Party's women's union to expand support groups across the city (Mydans, New York Times, 5/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.