Our Bridge of Hope was originally built as Bangkok's first free HIV/AIDS hospice, opening in 1993. Through 2003, until anti-viral medications became accessible to the poor, our hospice cared for up to 300 patients each year. Even in this first decade, through nourishment, rest, and emotional support from family and Mercy staff, many patients were able to return home. Following access to drug treatments, our hospice turned into a Bridge of Hope, a transitional home and caring centre while our homecare program continued to grow.
Today, people living with HIV begin treatments earlier. They are stronger than before. They understand that their lives are not over, that they can lead productive and aspiring lives in their communities, at work, and at home. In addition, when the poor living with HIV/AIDS become ill, our teams can help care for them in their homes; or patients may enter government hospitals and receive free treatment. (A registration card for Thai citizens costs 30 baht - approximately one US dollar.)
For all these very positive reasons, we were able to close our hospice in 2012.