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When community-based care is impossible: lessons from an AIDS hospice for ethnic minority women and children in northern Thailand.


Int Conf AIDS. 1998;12:604-5 (abstract no. 32414). Unique Identifier :

ISSUES: HIV infected ethnic minority women and children who cannot return to their communities of origin due to armed conflict between ethnic groups, cultural practices and gender inequality within tribal communities, or discrimination against former sex workers require a supportive community in which to live and die. PROJECT: The House of Love is a residential/hospice program for HIV ethnic minority women and their children who have no families or communities to which they can return. The center is staffed by ethnic minority women, most of whom are also HIV infected who understand the languages and cultures of the residents. Activities include teaching about proper physical care, child care and nutrition, providing a means to make a small income, provision of emotional and spiritual care, and provision of care for children who have become orphaned. The women take care of each other under the direction of an ethnic minority nurse. Through partnering with a community-based NGO which provides support for home care within ethnic minority villages, the center also provides temporary shelter for women until they can be reintegrated into their communities. RESULTS: The House of Love has empowered ethnic minority women living with HIV/AIDS to care for themselves and others, to tell their stories so that they can become a resource for AIDS prevention within ethnic minority communities, to provide a home for for orphaned children, and to create a supportive, caring community for women and children in their final stages of AIDS. LESSONS LEARNED: Ethnic minority women living with HIV/AIDS, and who have no family or community support, can be helped to create a supportive community in which they provide care for each other.

MEETING ABSTRACTS Adult Child Cultural Characteristics Female Foster Home Care *Hospices Human HIV Infections/REHABILITATION/*THERAPY *Minority Groups Patient Education Prejudice Prostitution Self Care Social Support Thailand War


Information in this article was accurate in December 30, 1998. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.