Aid appeal to combat HIV/AIDS in Myanmar

December 6th, 2011 - 11:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Yangon, Dec 6 (IANS) The representatives of the civil society, officials, UN agencies and celebrities in Myanmar Tuesday appealed to the international community to increase its assistance in combating HIV/AIDS in the country.

The appeal was made during a round-table media discussion jointly organised by the health ministry and UNAIDS.

“The AIDS response in Myanmar has entered a critical stage. While good achievements on prevention treatment and care has been made so far, Myanmar can achieve universal access if the entire society and all stakeholders are fully mobilized,” the organisers said, Xinhua reported.

Saw Lwin, deputy director general (Disease Control) of the ministry, said Myanmar is implementing a national strategic plan on HIV/AIDS (2011-2015), which envisages the creative use of diverse types of mass media to reduce stigma and discrimination and to reduce the risk of HIV transmission among the affected population.

According to Khin Ohnmar San, manager of the National AIDS Program of the health ministry, of the $50 million needed to fight HIV/AIDS, only $39 million was available.

Only 40 percent of HIV patients could receive treatment. The country needs more anti-retroviral (ARV) drug, he said.

According to official data, 240,000 people were living with HIV in Myanmar in 2010.

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