Spiritual care is an integral part of the Sanpatong
Home-Based Care project in Thailand, where Buddhist principles of kindness,
compassion, altruistic joy, and equanimity help the afflicted to cope with AIDS.
Buddhist monks teach meditation to help people find tranquility, boosting their
mental strength to continue with life. Spiritual guidance is provided on how to
protect oneself from suffering and how to see the natural hand in the human
cycle of life and death. Discourses cover how to come to terms with ones
mortality, or that of a loved one. Those suffering from HIV/AIDS often spend
week-long retreats at Buddhist Wats (temples), where they meditate, re-examine
their spiritual beliefs, and benefit from a regimen of healthy diet and
People in six out of the 10 ASEAN (Association of South East
Asian Nations) countries subscribe to Buddhist principles, suggesting some
important guides for designing communication programmes for HIV/AIDS prevention,
care, and support in this region. Buddhist principles forbid the taking of life
(i.e. do not infect others) or consumption of substances to alter the natural
body state (i.e. do not consume alcohol or inject IV drugs),thus providing an
effective spiritual platform to address high-risk behaviour.
Source: UNAIDS (1999a, p. 71).