Moe Set arrived in Ranong from Dawei, Myanmar, as a migrant worker in 2007. She got married to a fisherman.
In 2009 she found out that she was HIV positive and she was two months pregnant that time. She went for HIV treatment and underwent the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMCT). The doctor and nurses encouraged her to ask the husband for HIV test but he refused to go for HIV test and treatment.
When the baby was born they went back to Myanmar. After two years, the husband became very weak. He was very sick, and he passed away. She felt alone and afraid. She shared her status to her families, neighbors and friends, but their response was not pleasing to her. Instead of being consoled by them, she felt discouraged. They told her that like her husband she would also die very soon. It was so depressing for her. She felt hopeless.
Nobody was there to support her and to help her. One day, when she looked at her little daughter, it came to her mind that she needed to be alive for her daughter. She became hopeful. She believed that she would not die very soon.
She asked her mother to look after her daughter and she came back to Ranong to work. It was not easy for her to be far away from her daughter. She worked very hard and sacrificed many things to achieve her dream that before she dies she could do something for the future of her daughter. She wanted to have a house in Myanmar for her daughter.
While in Ranong she tried to do any work and she worked very hard to try and stay healthy. It was a challenge for her financially because she he had to save money to buy ARV drugs (HIV medication). In March 2011, she met the Marist Mission Health Team members at the hospital. They assisted her not just financially to buy the drugs but also to belong to a group where she can share and find more support and encouragement.
Several years have passed now but she still stays healthy with the right medical treatment. She was able to build her own house in Myanmar. Her daughter is now 15 years old and now studying at high school. Her dreams and hopes continue on. She would love to see her daughter graduate from university to achieve a brighter future.
For Moe Set, it was her daughter who gave her hope to live. She said the there is always a reason to live and to hope.
Each day the HIV Health Team from the Marist Asia Foundation accompany some of the poorest of the Burmese Migrants in Ranong who seek to live and hope for a brighter future. A common story of poverty, migration to Thailand, lack of knowledge and desperate living conditions, are the root cause of many young women now living with HIV AIDS.