Associated Press (02.22.12) - Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Lack of funding is causing some 85,000 people with HIV in
Myanmar to go without treatment, Doctors Without Borders
reported Wednesday. Myanmar's situation could grow even worse,
since the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria recently
suspended new grant-making activities due to a shortfall in
donations, DWB said. The expected Global Fund grants could
have supplied HIV medicine to 46,500 people in Myanmar and
treated another 10,000 patients stricken with drug-resistant
Myanmar's tuberculosis rate is nearly triple the global rate,
and drug-resistant strains continue to surge. TB is a leading
cause of death for the country's HIV patients. About 18,000
people die from HIV/AIDS annually in Myanmar, the UN
DWB provides antiretroviral drugs to nearly 23,000 people at
23 clinics throughout Myanmar, funding more than half of all
HIV treatment being provided to 43,000 patients, said Peter
Paul de Groote, leader of DWB's Myanmar operation.
Although a civilian government assumed office last year,
international assistance to Myanmar has remained minimal due
to its previous rule by a reclusive military government.
"Regardless of what is happening in the country, the people
that are in need of treatment need treatment," said de Groote.
"Of course, we all hope that the developments as they seem to
be going in that direction will lead to more money into the
country, but, in general, I think this money should be coming
in regardless of what the situation is."