YANGON: Myanmar’s health authorities are planning to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2025, according to a release from the Health and Sports Ministry on Monday.
Myint Htwe, union minister of health and sports, said that the HIV infection rate to pregnant women declined from 0.84 percent in 2011 to 0.57 percent in 2018, at the celebration of the World AIDS Day 2019 held on Sunday.
According to the statistical data of AIDS Epidemic Model-AEM, there were about 237,000 people living with HIV nationwide and its prevalence rate is at 0.57 percent in the country last year.
Numbers of HIV incidence dropped to over 10,000 in 2018, from 29,000 in 2000, said the ministry’s release.
About 70 percent of HIV incidence occurred in key affected populations which include people who inject drugs, female sex workers and men who have sex with men.
The HIV new infection cases mostly registered in Kachin, northern Shan states, Sagaing and Yangon regions, respectively.
The ministry said that the number of patients treated with lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) has doubled to over 175,000 patients in September 2019 from over 85,000 in 2015.
The Myanmar’s Integrated Biological and Behavioral Survey 2017 showed that there were about 93,000 people who inject drugs and the HIV infection rate to them was 34.9 percent.
Myanmar authorities are carrying out activities under the National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS (2016-2020) and planning to extend the period to 2021-2025.
Under the national plan, the authorities are carrying out activities such as awareness campaign, comprehensive condom program, sexually transmitted infections testing and treatment, harm reduction, HIV testing services, prevention of mother-to-child transmission and ART.
At the 71st World Health Assembly held in Switzerland last year, Myanmar proposed to be a member of Global HIV Prevention Coalition, which is operated by the World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) in over 30 countries.
The first HIV infection case was reported in Myanmar in 1988 and the first AIDS case was identified in 1990.