Organization: Lighthouse Social Enterprise
Region: Asia and the Pacific Islands
Nationality: Viet Nam
Country: Viet Nam
Interests & expertise: Co-infections (TB, hepatitis, STIs, etc.)
Profession or occupation: Advocate/activist
What inspires you to work in the HIV field?
In 2008, I moved from a village to the big city to study. I had absolutely no information about HIV or safe sex. It was a long time before I learnt that I was vulnerable to HIV through unprotected sex. I was supported mentally by a peer educator and referred to HIV testing. It meant a lot to me.
I know that there are many people like me: young people from rural areas with limited knowledge, poor access to HIV and sexual health services, and suffering multi stigma. That's why I decided to become a peer educator and now an activist, public practitioner and community health worker. The personal stories, smiles, tears and positive changes in the lives of the people I have talked to and helped are the big motivations for me to continue working in the HIV field.
What are your goals as an IAS change maker?
As an IAS change maker, my goal is to inspire young people, key population members and people living with HIV to speak out strongly for their rights and health. I want to inspire them to connect with other change makers to advocate for community-led programmes, community-centred models and appropriate investments in communities, as well as participate actively in education, service delivery and support for community.