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VOA News Examines AIDS Among Marginalized Groups In Burma

VOA News examines AIDS among high-risk groups in Burma, also known as Myanmar. “Burma’s AIDS epidemic mostly affects marginalized groups, such as the gay community,” the news service writes, adding, “About one percent of Burma’s population is HIV-positive,” but “[a]mong high-risk groups, such as men who have sex with men, health workers estimate as many as 11 percent have HIV.” The news service notes, “While Burma’s National AIDS Plan has helped stem new infections, it offers almost no help for marginalized groups already living with HIV.”

“In a country where homosexuality remains illegal, finding and treating gay patients is a challenge for the few health workers devoted to their treatment,” VOA writes. “Kyaw Soe, the ministry of health’s HIV officer for Mandalay Division, nevertheless recognizes the risks from not treating these groups,” according to the news service. “‘There may be laws against homosexuality, but if we look at it from a public health point of view, we have to help these people,’ Kyaw [said],” VOA adds (9/10).

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