The first phase of HIV/AIDS project (1994-1996) emphasised on awareness raising and prevention education for the general population and supplied the required condoms for the prevention of HIV transmission and test kits for safe blood supply. During the second phase (1997-1999) the project embarked on building capacities of community volunteers in sites where HIV is prevalent.
From 1999 until the later part of 2003, the project broadly increased its staff, opening regional offices in strategic areas. In contrast to earlier projects limiting main activities to awareness raising and prevention among the general population, interventions were now designed among high risk groups with care and support for persons living with HIV, and introducing moderate income generation schemes for families affected by AIDS.
In addition to the above-mentioned activities the project initiated capacity building of local organisations, which have emerged through the years, in high prevalent areas. The project collaborated with some 30 local organisations to implement target specific HIV education interventions.
The project redirected its strategy in 2005 to further enhance the community development framework that forms the basis of the UNDP mission in Myanmar. Activities were implemented addressing the links between poverty/development and HIV. The project started to mainstream HIV into the community development initiatives undertaken by two sister projects, the Community Development for Remote Townships (CDRT) and the Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP) under the HDI.
The project developed an outreach program aiming to involve community volunteers, composed of women, men and youth and trained them to raise awareness and, through peer education, tackled gender related HIV vulnerabilities of women and girls. Apart from HIV prevention education activities, the volunteers also provide other HIV/AIDS services in the community, such as counseling and home based care.
A new methodology called Community Capacity Enhancement (CCE) was introduced concentrating on community participation into development practices by creating opportunities for people to understand relevant issues relating to HIV, how they might impact on their communities and how to address them.
In addition, the HIV project was involved in the establishment of a working group of people living with HIV, now known as the Myanmar Positive Group (MPG), which works to link and create a network of the many Self Help Support Groups (SHGs) that have started to be formed in major urban areas all over the country.
In 2006 the project collaborated with other organisations to implement the following interventions:
- Comprehensive care programme for migration affected communities near the Thai border
- Fund management training program for Self Help Support Groups, and
- Vocational skills training for destitute women and girls to improve their income sources
At present, the project continues the initiatives taken in the last three years, expanding the coverage of the community outreach program and addressing the growing need for psycho-social and economic support programmes for persons living with HIV.