San Francisco Chronicle Examines HIV/AIDS Prevention Efforts in Burma
The San Francisco Chronicle on Friday examined HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in Burma, where the ruling military junta until 2002 "made AIDS a taboo subject." However, after HIV/AIDS "gained a major foothold" in the country because of poor health conditions and the population's "striking" lack of knowledge of reproductive health issues, the junta allowed local and international groups to become more active in fighting the disease, according to the Chronicle. But some observers say that HIV/AIDS projects run by the groups "free the military junta from health spending, allowing them to buy more arms and use the money on itself," the Chronicle reports. In addition, the critics say that the junta's attention to the epidemic is a "ploy" to attract more international aid, which "slowed to a trickle" following the military coup in 1990, according to the Chronicle (Hua, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/14). An accompanying Chronicle article profiles Moe Moe, an HIV-positive Burmese widow with three children, and Cho The, a 20-year-old Burmese sex worker who fears she will contract HIV because about 30% of her clients refuse to use condoms (Hua, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/14). Both articles are available online.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.