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Solidarity in the time of COVID-19: healthcare for people most affected by HIV

“My monthly income can barely support my livelihood. The expense of getting this sexually transmitted infection treatment is unaffordable to me,” said Trung (not his real name), who is a male sex worker in his early twenties.  Not daring to tell his parents that he is gay, Trung dropped out of school at the end of junior secondary school and left his hometown six years ago. He started working in a cafe in the daytime and selling sex at night. However, his income is only enough for his daily necessities such as water, food, electricity, gasoline for his motorbike, and…

Solidarity and shared responsibility in the time of COVID-19: Livelihoods assistance for sex workers

“During the COVID-19 lockdown, it has been too difficult to get clients,” said Mai (not her real name), a 48-year-old female sex worker from a province in the Mekong Delta. Since the social distancing restrictions, the livelihood of Mai has been devastated by the lockdown. The post lockdown economic recession due to COVID-19 in Viet Nam has also resulted in a drastic cutdown of her income.  Losing their parents and being abandoned by relatives at a young age, Mai and her younger sister grew up in the face of hardship. For over 10 years, both Mai and her younger sister…

First LGBTIQ community-led summit in Viet Nam calls for united grass root movement

One by one, colorful stickers were taped by the participants to indicate the locations of their LGBTIQ community-based organizations across the rainbow-liked Viet Nam map, soon forming a harmonized and variegated picture in Stronger Together Summit. Over 70 representatives of LGBTIQ communities-based organizations (CBOs) around Viet Nam discussed the ways to advance the LGBTI’s community’s heath, equity and sustainability in the three-day summit led by Lighthouse, a LGBTIQ and youth-led community-based organization, with support from UNAIDS and other development partners. A summit statement has been developed collectively based on the consensus reached in the summit regarding (1) equality and equity,…

Humans Of Courage – Nguyễn Thị Ánh

Both my parents and my in-laws told me to go buy him a coffin already, as there would be nothing else we could do to save him.  He had been losing weight uncontrollably. In two months, he went from 60 kilos to 38 kilos. Once in every week, he was rushed in emergency. No one could tell what happened to him. Some hospitals diagnosed parasitic infections, others said either digestive problems or liver issues. The more intensive the treatments were, the more exhausted his body became, until he was reduced to just skin and bones. And then doctors from Cho…

Humans Of Courage – Nguyễn Thị Vĩnh

It was in the death of night. In the rented house with only two of us, my husband,  uncontrollable of himself, rushed in to strangle me!  I could not resist against him because he was so tall and big. My scream was blocked in the throat, and all that was left was the rattle of a dying person. Perhaps I was lucky. A passerby on their morning exercise routine heard the noise. They broke the door to save me. There was a first time, then a second time. The third time he rushed in to strangle me, all I thought…

Humans Of Courage – Trọng Hùng

While in middle school, realizing that I was a gay, the only thing I could do was to torment and blame myself…  That was part of the painful childhood memory that I always want to forget. My father left, my mom passed away, I was transferred from one relative’s house to another and suffered from both physical and mental harassment. This pattern repeated as I grow up: I wander a lot as a way to avoid my family and all the memories that come with.  One time when I returned home, I noted down everything about my daily life in…

Humans Of Courage – Chau Bao

 “The story of how I got HIV is quite different from many others’: most of them accidentally got it, while since the beginning, I took the risk.  When I decided to marry my first love, even the local authorities advised me against being with him. He was a drug user and possibly HIV positive, they said. My family, especially my mom also tried to talk me out of it. But we are all devoted Christians, I used our faith to argue with my mom. I said, “Jesus came to earth to save sinners. How can you ask me to leave…

Humans of Courage – Ngo Linh

I got HIV from my first husband. And that has changed my life ever since. We fell in love when I was a young girl from the Mekong Delta, going to Saigon in the hope of a better life. We had a daughter when I was 22. When his business failed, his friends introduced him to work as a bus attendant for their North-South bus route. Then after a while, I noticed that his neck was getting swollen glands. A doctor who travelled on his bus told him to go to the hospital for some checkup the next day and bringing…

Green One UN House, 304 Kim Ma, Ba Dinh, Ha Noi, Viet Nam