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Project information

Saving HIV+ Lives on the Thai-Burma Border

To cheaply provide Anti-Retroviral (ARV) medicines for the many HIV+ refugees on the Thai-Burma border in Mae Sot Thailand. These migrants have no other access to these life-saving medications and would otherwise die.

April 2016 - April 2021

Charity information: Aids Ark

Aids Ark logo
  • Need


    Burmese refugees of all ages cannot access Burmese government-supplied ARVs and support for their HIV+ condition, nor do they qualify for Thai medical support on the other side of the border.

    As a result they stand a high chance of dying from HIV/AIDS or one of many crippling opportunistic infections we see in our clinic from refugees who've not had access to ARV medication.


    Working with the Mae Tao Clinic, we provide high- quality low-cost HIV medical care (including the supply of ARV medication) and related support for these HIV+ refugees.

    This project has been operational since 2016 and we currently support 92 people and keep them alive and healthy. The opportunity exists to readily and easily save many more lives.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To save lives by funding the treatment and care of Burmese refugees living with HIV/AIDS


    » To fund life-saving Anti-Retroviral (ARV) medications for those without access to them who would otherwise die.
    » To fund the provision of medical support - such as doctors, nurses, tests and counselling - to ensure that ARV treatment is effective.

    What success will look like

    Success is demonstrated by the documented number of HIV+ patients on our clinic records that we treat and care for and keep alive and healthy - 92 people at present.

  • Impact


    Almost all people on ARVs return to health and have a life-expectancy of many years. Communities are demonstrably strengthened by our programme: Parents are able to return to work and support their families who might otherwise face destitution. Children are able to attend school and enjoy normal childhood development.

    Every patient we treat is documented and carefully monitored, and we know the impact of their improving health on their lives through home visits and case studies.


    The main risk is that the Thai or Burmese governments or the large international anti-HIV programmes do not take over the medical care of the patients within our programme over the next few years.

    In that case, unless the patients can start funding the ARV medications themselves, we will have many people whose lives depend upon us continuing to supply them ARVs indefinitely.

    So at AidsArk we ensure we keep sufficient funds in reserve for this eventuality.


    Donors receive reports several times a year detailing the progress of the programme.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £60,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £40,000 Medicines Anti-retroviral medicines and associated medical care and support
      £15,000 Personnel Doctors and Nurses salaries
      £5,000 Logistics Transport/freight/storage
  • Background


    Mae Sot is a remote and poor region on the Thai-Burmese border where many tens of thousands of Burmese refugees live in challenging conditions and without access to government health services.

    The Mae Sot Clinic, who we fund for their HIV programme, was set-up in 2008 by Dr Cynthia Muang, a Burmese refugee herself. In that time it has become a major force for alleviating suffering and saving lives on the Thai/Burmese border.


    People who do not qualify or are unable to receive Anti-Retroviral Medication (ARVs) from the Thai or Burmese governments - these are mainly migrants from Burma who do not have Thai citizenship. Many of these people have HIV, have no access to Anti-Retroviral medications, and will die unless we provide them with medications.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    AidsArk has been supplying ARVs and associated medical treatments since 2002 to people who would otherwise not receive treatment (in countries including Lesotho, South Africa, Uganda, India, Thailand and Burma).

    We proactively search out doctors and clinics and
    we have a simple, secure, effective and tested system in place. 100% of the money we raise is used to fund the treatment of HIV - the cost of all overheads are fully covered by the founder trustees

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr Cynthia Maung

    Dr Cynthia founded the Mae Tao Clinic and oversees the medical care of patients on the ground. She has received 6 international awards for her work.

    David Primost

    Trustee of AidsArk since 2009. David oversees all of AidsArk's projects and manages grants and funding as well as fundraising.

Mae Tao Clinic Patients

Mae Tao Clinic Patients


£300 will save the life of a Burmese refugee living with HIV for 1 year.