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Development Association (PDA)

Development Association (PDA)

Pfizer Thailand Foundation in partnership with the Population and Community Development Association (PDA) together marked the 5th anniversary of the program which is offering micro-credit loans and support to HIV/AIDS sufferers who partner up with people who are not infected with HIV to start small businesses and other income-generating occupations to support themselves and their families. 
Mr. Manu Sawang-jaeng, Vice President, Pfizer Thailand Foundation, said, “The program’s purpose is to help HIV/AIDS sufferers earn a sustainable and sufficient income for a living, help them support their families, give them their self-esteem back, and to foster better understanding about living with HIV/AIDS infected people.” 

Mr. Praween Payabwipapong, PDA Deputy Director, said,“ Being infected with HIV-AIDS creates enough challenges for the sufferer without the additional burden of trying avoid being shunned by their communities. In particular, they need to keep their self-esteem and ability to earn a living. The Positive Partnership Program conducted by PDA and the Pfizer Thailand Foundation has done a lot to help sufferers with these challenges.” 

Dr. Oranut Aruntat, Director, Pfizer Thailand Foundation, said, “We can live normally with people infected with HIV-AIDS. The virus does not spread through the air we breathe, saliva or skin contact, as is the case with other infectious diseases. People get HIV/AIDS from sexual relations and by sharing needles with infected people. Understanding this can help us support and encourage people with HIV/AIDS to lead a normal life. ”

Tui (alias), aged 43, is a Pfizer-PDA Positive Partnership member and chairwoman of the Sankamphaeng Ruam Jai HIV-Positive Network in Sankamphaeng district of Chiang Mai. She contracted HIV from her late husband in 1996. She is now living with her new husband and they have a child who does not have HIV. Since her infection, Tui has been healthy and has never taken drugs for HIV/AIDS. She hopes to remain forever independent of AIDS drugs.

Tui said, Since I became a member of the program, my life has become better. I used to be so desperate. Now I am happy again and feeling more secure with a family and an occupation. I can sew for a living. I earn around Bht 4,000 a month. I am very proud to be able to support myself and my child. And since I was chosen as chairwoman of the Sankamphaeng Positive Partnership Group, I have been able to help fellow HIV-positive members as well as healthy people.”

The Positive Partnership Program was initiated by Pfizer Thailand Foundation and Pfizer Inc. in collaboration with the Population and Community Development Association. Launched on 1st January 2004, the program aims to improve the quality of life of HIV/AIDS patients by providing micro-credit loans for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS interested in pursuing an occupation or small business in partnership with healthy HIV-negative people. Under the program, the two partners work together to generate a sustainable living.
 
To date, the program has benefited 494 partnerships (988 people). Loans valued at over Bht 23.9 million have been approved (from January 2004-June 2007). Loan payback rate stands at 91%. The size of loans approved depends on projects proposed by individual partnerships, ranging from Bht 5,000 to Bht 30,000, each. Borrowers can choose to pay back loans in installments at an interest of only 6% for a loan period of 6-12 months, depending on the type of occupation. The program also provides vocational training as well as advice and knowledge on AIDS for interested members of the general public