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HIV Infections Up In Burm

/* Written  5:55 am  Jul  2, 1994 by wov.central@xxxxxxx in igc:soc.cult.burma */
/* ---------- "HIV Infections Up In Burm" ---------- */
Subject : HIV Infections Up In Burma

   RANGOON, Burma (AP) -- The number of Burmese infected with the
virus that causes AIDS is rising steadily, with the infection now
spreading to the families of those in high-risk groups, the
country's top health official says.
   By March this year, 7,399 people had tested positive for the
human immunodeficiency virus, a 44 percent increase from 15 months
earlier, said Health Minister Vice Admiral Than Nyunt.
   But he warned that the actual number of HIV-infected people
could be higher.
   Than Nyunt said the World Health Organization estimates that
more than 200,000 Burmese could be infected with HIV. The
organization estimates that more than 2 million people could be
infected in South and Southeast Asia.
   The minister's remarks, made Wednesday at a meeting of the
national AIDS prevention organization, were reported Thursday in
the official newspaper New Light of Myanmar.
   HIV was first found in Burma among high-risk groups, including
intravenous drug users, prostitutes and carriers of sexually
transmitted diseases, but the virus is now spreading to their
family members, said Than Nyunt.
   He said most infections to date have been caused by intravenous
drug use.
   Than Nyunt said the health department began testing for the
virus in 1985 and detected the first case in 1988. There were 261
full-blown AIDS cases by March of this year, of which 149 were in
the capital, Rangoon. The minister did not give a tally of
AID-related deaths but previously released figures put the total at
the end of last year at 52.

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