Country Context: HIV in Lao PDR

There are an estimated 12 000 people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Lao PDR. Of these, 74% (8 939) are aware of their HIV status. Meanwhile, 47% (5 631) of PLHIV are receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART), with 45% (5 300) having a suppressed viral load. By far the highest prevalence of PLHIV is in Vientiane, followed by Savannakhet, Champasack, Luangprabang, and Khammouane.

Size estimates for key populations are as follows:

Men who have sex with men: 50 000

Sex workers: 13 400

People who inject drugs: 1 600

Transgender people: Statistic unavailable

Criminalisation remains in place for sex work as well as for the transmission, non-disclosure of or exposure to HIV transmission. Significant penalties also apply for the use of illicit drugs.

Crowd Cheering


Lao Positive Health Association (LaoPHA)

LaoPHA has worked as an officially recognised community-based organization since 2005 and became registered as a local non-profit association in 2012. Their five priority areas are community advocacy, community mobilisation and network strengthening, human rights, public health and holistic activities.

The organisation is the focal point of a national network of support for people living with HIV/AIDS with whom they work and coordinate responses for across from key provincial and national level networks. Their work extends to not only PLHIV, but pushes for a broader agenda of support for high-risk and marginalised communities, including sex workers, drug users, men who have sex with men, transgender people, migrant workers, orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and women.


©2019 by AFAO International Program.