An assessment of the Positive Partnership Project in Thailand: Key considerations for scaling-up microcredit loans for HIV-positive and negative pairs in other settings
Viravaidya,Mechai; Wolf,R.C.; Guest,Philip
Global Public Health 3(2): 115-136
Publication date: 2008
Stigmatization and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA), and their families, remains a barrier to participation in prevention and care programmes. This barrier takes on added significance as Thailand expands provision of free antiretroviral therapy (ART). This paper documents an innovative approach to improve quality of life for PLHA, while reducing levels of stigma and discrimination. The Population and Community Development Association (PDA) began implementing the Positive Partnership Project (PPP) in 2002. In this project, an HIV-negative person must team up with an HIV-positive person to become eligible for a loan for income-generating activities. The use of microcredit to explicitly reduce stigma and discrimination is a unique feature of the PPP. While the microcredit component of the project is an important dimension for improving the status of participating PLHA, the impacts of the project extend far beyond the PLHA who receive loans. Both directly and indirectly, it has contributed to improved quality of life and economic conditions for PLHA, while raising their visibility and acceptance in hundreds of communities throughout urban and rural Thailand. This paper identifies key features of the project and considerations for adapting its use in other settings.