Thu 30 Apr 2009, Rai Maroah, IMNA
IOM doubles supply of medicine to HIV patients in Mon State More HIV positive patients in Mon State have been receiving vital Anti-retroviral drugs thanks to the International Organization of Migrants (IOM) who have doubled the number of patients it supplies since the beginning of April.
According to IOM staff, the organization is providing ARVs to villagers in Mudon, Thanbyuzayat, Kyaitmayan, Belin and Moulmein Townships. ARVs are the only known effective treatment for HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS.
“We only supplied ARVs to 100 people before in Mon State but now we’re providing them to 200. However, that’s not enough for everyone here and there are more and more HIV positive people every year,” said one of the staff.
In Mudon Township, for example, IOM supplies ARVs to people from 15 villages as well as food and money. The organization’s own statistics record that there were 40 HIV patients in those villages last year and there are now 50. However, IOM’s resources are limited and they cannot supply treatment to all. Lack of care has meant that some patients have already died.
According to the Burmese Weekly Eleven journal, published on April 24, only 14,000 people in Burma with HIV are receiving ARVs, yet there are an estimated 0.24 with the disease in the country and every year 25,000 people die of AIDS.