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AHRN hold a gathering of 21 shop owners who run on their premises innovative ‘NSATM’ needle exchange (100,000 per month!). Fantastic people caring for their communities, drug users and families.

Injecting drug use is both an urban and rural social phenomenon in Myanmar, and addressing it requires a wide geographical coverage of prevention and care interventions, especially with the high levels of HIV prevalence close to 30% already existing amongst this target group.

Unfortunate crackdown of drug users by different groups causes marginalized population to become even more entrenched in their marginalization, and harder to reach. Subsequently, it is much more difficult to engage with people who inject drugs (#PWIDs) and the distribution of needle and syringes, through established methods and interventions, is greatly reduced. These ‘crackdowns’ not only have an impact on the needle and syringes distribution and safe collection, but they also lead to an increase in the amount of unsafe discarded needles – posing a greater threat to the wider community.

AHRN concerned with the situation conducted a GAP analysis on the impact of the crackdowns and learned that there was an urgent need to provide needles and syringes in an alternative way. This resulted in developing the so-called Needle Syringe – Automatic Taking Machine (NSATM) system.

Appreciation event for NSATM Owners!

A special event to show appreciation towards the NSATM owners who are involved in AHRN #HIV/ AIDS prevention activities was successfully held at Hotel Madira, Myitkyina, Kachin State on 29 & 30 November.

AHRN Technical Director, Mr. Willy de Maere addressed opening speech, and presentation about #HIV and Drug Addiction by Mr. Willy & Mr. Murdo, Addiction Video Show and NSATM overview presentation were conducted by AHRN National Program Manager, Ma Thinzar Tun.

21 NSATM owners from Waimaw, Bamaw, Hpakant , Seng Tawng, Lone Khin (Kachin State) and Kalay & Tamu (Sagaing Region) were highly appreciated and acknowledged certificates were awarded after group work discussion and presentation.

Total 21 shops from 8 project sites are contributing up to 30 % of total needles and syringes in #HIV/AIDS prevention activities of AHRN Myanmar with the NS return rate of 70%.

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