Skip to main content
Submitted by moiuser on 2 December 2021

UNION minister for Health Dr Thet Khaing Win attended the 2021 World AIDS Day ceremony  yesterday  morning  in  Nay  Pyi Taw.

At the ceremony, the Union minister  said  the  World  AIDS  Day has been celebrated in the first week of December annually  across  the  world  since  1988  and  it  marks  34th  times 

this year. In Myanmar, it aims to remember those  who  have  died  of  HIV/AIDS,  and  eradicate the disease from a public health problem by working with the whole  community,  including public health workers, UN agencies,  civil  society  groups  and people living with HIV, he said.

The  theme  of  this  year’s  World  AIDS  Day  is  “End  inequalities. End AIDS. End pandemics”, aiming to reaccelerate the prevention and treatment of HIV in the world, in addition to the  COVID-19  prevention  and  response efforts.

There  are  about  241,662  people  living  with  HIV  in  Myanmar, with an estimated HIV prevalence  rate  of  0.57%,  according to the AIDS Epidemic Model (AEM), the Union minister said. Activities to eradicate the  HIV/AIDS  are  being  implemented in accordance with the National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS (2021-2025), with an effort  to  make  the  essential  packages  for  health  services  – HIV for all 330 townships accessible  to  those  who  are  in  need, he added.

In  2021,  362  ART  clinics  were opened in 273 townships to  provide  treatment  for  HIV/AIDS patients, making the ART medical  services  more  accessible. In addition, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) has been extended to 330 townships nationwide this year. Preventive care and treatment  have  been  stepped  up  since  2021  with  increased  funding from the government, he  said.  The  government  has  been increasing the allocation of funds from the 2016-2017 financial year to make sure that there  is  no  shortage  of  medicines and related medical supplies  for  ART  medical  services.  In  the  2020-2021  FY,  up  to  US$  15  million  was  allocated  and  more  are  planned  to  be  allocated in the coming years, he  continued.  As  a  result,  out  of  an  estimated  240,000  people living with HIV, more than 190,000 (approximately 78% of all  HIV-infected  people)  have  been  treated  as  of  September  2021.

New HIV prevention strategies,  such  as  Pre  Exposure  Prophylaxis  (PrEP),  pre-disease  vaccination  is  being  carried out in Yangon Region as a Demonstration project for gays.

The  incidence  of  new  HIV  infections  in  Myanmar  peaked  at  26,569  in  2000  and  dropped  to  9,081  in  2020  as  a  result  of  dedicated efforts to prevent and treat  HIV,  however,  there  are  still many tasks and challenges  to  be  taken  forward,  such  as  the  continuum  of  care  for  HIV-positive  patients  and  the  zero  discrimination  against  them, he highlighted.

The Union minister urged those  who  are  affected  with  HIV  or  who  work  in  the  HIV  prevention  and  treatment  activities  to  be  fully  vaccinated  against COVID-19 as the Ministry of Health is giving priority to those with poor immune system.  He  also  said  he  believed  that with the cooperation of the Ministry of Health, the people and  partner  organizations,  a  HIV-free society would emerge by 2030.

Those present at the ceremony included Deputy minister for Health, Directors General, officials  from  the  respective  ministries,  partner  organizations,  and  officials  from  the  region/state  public  health  departments  attended  through  video conferencing.