Myanmar Releases HIV-Pos Activists
Posted by pozlife on June 9, 2007
by The Associated Press
Posted: June 9, 2007 – 1:00 pm ET
(Yangon) Eleven HIV patients were released from a Myanmar hospital where they were confined for three days after participating in vigils for a detained AIDS activist, an opposition member said.
The 11 activists were taken to Waybargi Infectious Diseases Hospital on Tuesday by doctors from the government’s National AIDS Program.
They had participated in prayer vigils at Buddhist pagodas in Yangon after the arrest of AIDS activist Phyu Phyu Thin, a member of the opposition National League for Democracy taken from her home by police on May 21 for unknown reasons.
Myanmar’s military regime frowns on all displays of dissent, but is especially harsh on members of the NLD, led by pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is in house arrest.
“The patients were given a series of tests and all of them were freed Friday. Three of the patients were given ARV (anti-retroviral) treatment and all of them were provided with cash to return to their homes in their districts,” said Yazar, an NLD activist who goes by a single name.
Phyu Phyu Thinn has been caring for HIV and AIDS patients since 2002, helping patients with counseling, reaching clinics and finding accommodations for those from outlying areas.
“The arrest of Ma Phyu was a great blow to HIV patients,” Yazar said. “Many have been neglected by their families and Ma Phyu was their savior.”
Myanmar’s military government says more than 330,000 of the country’s 54 million people have HIV-AIDS, but U.N. health experts estimate more than 600,000 people between the ages of 15-49 are infected.
Life-prolonging anti-retroviral drugs are scarce.
Source: Gay News From 365Gay.com