The first major response would be a change in government policy. No preventive or treatment program could ever succeed without proper government policies. While most governments are ready to illegalize prostitution, this move has proved ineffective time after time. It is therefore up to the government to set up effective policies that would allow easy access to treatment programs, education, and preventive programs such as the promotion of the use of contraceptives. The government should also step up its reconstruction activities by ensuring that all health centers and prevention programs are up and running.
The second possible response is the inclusion of sex workers in education and preventive programs. Educating some of the sex workers on how HIV spreads and how it affects people might prove beneficial as they can educate their fellow colleagues and, in the process, improve understanding about the disease. Educating the sex workers about contraception, especially condoms, will also help these women to take better care of themselves both to avoid unwanted pregnancies and the contraction of HIV. Incorporating sex workers in these activities may also help to identify problems affecting these women and also locate other sex workers in the country.
The third feasible response is the establishment and promotion of women’s rights groups in the country. A country in which women are oppressed by social and legal frameworks is unable to tackle the issue of HIV and AIDS effectively. If Myanmar is to have a chance at preventing the spread of this disease among its female sex workers and other women, several women’s rights groups should be set up and given enough support to spread their message to women all over the country. These women’s rights groups should be well funded and should receive government support in their activities. Women empowerment is one of the most effective means of curbing the spread of HIV.
The final feasible option is bringing various health services to women. If the women fail to visit health centers due to lack of access to transport or an insufficient number of health centers, it is then important to bring these services to them. Mobile clinics/HIV centers should be set up so that female sex workers may be accessed all over the country. The mobile clinics should target various hot spots that these women usually frequent. Banners, booklets, and other means of spreading the message of HIV and why the mobile clinics are in the area should be provided. These clinics might also prove to be a good method of distributing condoms to sex trade hot spots and remote villages in the country.