Doctors of the World has been working in Myanmar with at risk communities such as drug users and sex workers since 1991. Since 2017 we have also been actively responding to the Rohingya refugee crisis. 


Provided with antiretroviral treatment


Attended our educational workshops

1 million

Condoms distributed

Around a quarter of a million people are infected with HIV in Myanmar

While access to antiretroviral treatment is increasing, almost 50,000 people are still in urgent need of it. The main communities affected by HIV in Myanmar are people who inject drugs and sex workers. These groups are often discriminated against by mainstream society and Myanmar’s public health system, making it extremely difficult for them to access to the care that they need. 

Drug Users

Myitkyina, Birmanie © Sophie Brandstorm

In Kachin state, Doctors of the World works with people who inject drugs to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases. Around 23% of people who inject drugs in Myanmar have HIV, and only 22% have received HIV testing and know their results. In Kachin state, ongoing violence and conflict has often caused instability in accessing the necessary preventative treatment for HIV and other diseases transmitted through drug use.

Our teams currently manage 4 health clinics where we organize educational workshops on antiretroviral treatment. In 2016 we were able to reach 10,000 users with our harm reduction activities. In addition we also placed 1,300 drug users on methadone substitution therapy and provided 1,200 people with antiretroviral treatment.

Sex Workers

Yangon, Myanmar © Sophie Brandstorm

Doctors of the World has been working with sex workers in Yangon since 2014. 15% of sex workers in Myanmar have HIV, one of the highest rates in Southeast Asia, but only 45% receive testing for the disease. We work out of mobile clinics to provide preventative material, screenings and treatment for HIV positive women and men.

We also have a fixed clinic where we provide antiretroviral treatment that sees over 1,000 people every year. In addition to receiving treatment, patients can also access counseling and be screened for other diseases such as tuberculosis. In 2016 we provided 1,300 sex workers with treatment for HIV and distributed over 1 million condoms.

Rohingya Refugee Crisis

In August 2017, Myanmar’s military launched widespread and deadly attacks on the Rohingya ethnic minority living in Rahkine state.


The ongoing violence has caused more than 800,000 Rohingya to flee across the border into Bangladesh, where many are now residing in squalid refugee camps with little access to food, water or medical care.

In Bangladesh, Doctors of the World has partnered with Bangladeshi NGO Gonoshasthaya Kendra (GK) to assess and respond to the needs of the Rohingyas living in Bangladesh’s border refugee camps. We are also supporting the Bangladeshi government’s efforts to provide medical care to the refugees, including primary and mental healthcare for those who have witnessed or experienced extreme violence. Along with our national partners, Doctors of the World has set up medical clinics in the camps and is currently serving around 700 patients a day. Read more about our work with the Rohingya here

Rohingya Refugee Crisis Fact Sheet

Read more about the developing situation in Bangladesh and our activities in Cox Bazaar.

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