Burma reveals $460 million plan to combat HIV/AIDS

Union minister for health and sports Dr Myint Htwe has revealed a US$ 460 million to combat HIV/AIDS in Burma, The Irrawaddy News Online reported on Thursday.

The plan commits Burma to achieving UNAIDS’ “five 90s” by 2020: 90 percent of priority population having access to HIV combination prevention services; 90 percent of people living with HIV knowing their status; 90 percent of people living with HIV and knowing their status; receiving treatment and having repressed viral loads and 90 percent of people affected by HIV reporting no discrimination.

The plan promises further decentralization of treatment away from major cities as well as a shift as to who provides treatment, from NGOs to government hospitals and clinics.

Of the $460 million fund, 18 percent will come from the Burmese government and the rest funded by international organizations and NGOs – including Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Three Millennium Development Goal Fund and UN agencies.

There are around 200,000 people living with HIV in Burma with an estimated 115,000 receiving anti-retroviral therapy.

Health Minister Dr Myint Htwe said expanding health service for HIV/AIDS is good, but noted that the real success is to bring down the number of new infections.

He encouraged the prioritizing of an HIV awareness campaign.