Drug injection causes widespread HIV infection in NW Myanmar

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-02 11:57:41|Editor: mym
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YANGON, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Intravenous injections have caused widespread HIV infection in Myanmar's Sagaing region, local media quoted regional government Minister of Social Welfare Dr. Zaw Win as saying Sunday.

About 20.77 percent of HIV-infected patients got the infection due to drug injection, Zaw Win told a ceremony marking the World AIDS Day in Monywa, Sagaing region on Saturday, the official Global New Light of Myanmar reported on Sunday.

A total of 14 dispensaries in Sagaing are offering methadone to HIV patients and the regional government is providing supervision for conducting HIV blood test and education campaign for migrant workers, youths and prisoners, a region public health official also told the event.

Myanmar has launched a HIV/AIDS Flagship (UHF) project in five regions and states with the highest rate of HIV infection.

With a fund of 10 million U.S. dollars and backed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the two-year project 2018-19 covers Kachin and Shan states and Sagaing, Yangon and Mandalay regions.

The project aims to scale up HIV prevention, testing and treatment services by utilizing non-governmental organizations and private sector health providers for people living with HIV and key population people who injected drugs, women sex workers, men and women who are afflicted and transgender people.

According to statistics, there are 224,794 people estimated to be living with HIV in Myanmar, which ranked 25 in the list of global countries having a high rate of HIV prevalence.

The rate of new patients with HIV infection dropped by 26 percent in 2016 from 2010, while the death toll due to AIDS-related disease plunged by 52 percent.