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Type: Journal article
Title: HIV care in Yangon, Myanmar; successes, challenges and implications for policy
Author: Aung, N.
Hanson, J.
Kyi, T.
Htet, Z.
Cooper, D.
Boyd, M.
Kyi, M.
Saw, H.
Citation: AIDS Research and Therapy, 2017; 14(1):1-7
Publisher: Spinger Nature
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 1742-6405
Statement of
Ne Myo Aung, Josh Hanson, Tint Tint Kyi, Zaw Win Htet, David A. Cooper, Mark A. Boyd, Mar Mar Kyi and Htin Aung Saw
Abstract: Approximately 0.8% of adults aged 18-49 in Myanmar are seropositive for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Identifying the demographic, epidemiological and clinical characteristics of people living with HIV (PLHIV) is essential to inform optimal management strategies in this resource-limited country.To create a "snapshot" of the PLHIV seeking anti-retroviral therapy (ART) in Myanmar, data were collected from the registration cards of all patients who had been prescribed ART at two large referral hospitals in Yangon, prior to March 18, 2016.Anti-retroviral therapy had been prescribed to 2643 patients at the two hospitals. The patients' median [interquartile range (IQR)] age was 37 (31-44) years; 1494 (57%) were male. At registration, injecting drug use was reported in 22 (0.8%), male-to-male sexual contact in eleven (0.4%) and female sex work in eleven (0.4%), suggesting that patients under-report these risk behaviours, that health care workers are uncomfortable enquiring about them or that the two hospitals are under-servicing these populations. All three explanations appear likely. Most patients were symptomatic at registration with 2027 (77%) presenting with WHO stage 3 or 4 disease. In the 2442 patients with a CD4+ T cell count recorded at registration, the median (IQR) count was 169 (59-328) cells/mm3. After a median (IQR) duration of 359 (185-540) days of ART, 151 (5.7%) patients had died, 111 (4.2%) patients had been lost to follow-up, while 2381 were alive on ART. Tuberculosis (TB) co-infection was common: 1083 (41%) were already on anti-TB treatment at registration, while a further 41 (1.7%) required anti-TB treatment during follow-up. Only 21 (0.8%) patients were prescribed isoniazid prophylaxis therapy (IPT); one of these was lost to follow-up, but none of the remaining 20 patients died or required anti-TB treatment during a median (IQR) follow-up of 275 (235-293) days.People living with HIV in Yangon, Myanmar are generally presenting late in their disease course, increasing their risk of death, disease and transmitting the virus. A centralised model of ART prescription struggles to deliver care to the key affected populations. TB co-infection is very common in Myanmar, but despite the proven efficacy of IPT, it is frequently not prescribed.
Keywords: Anti-retroviral therapy
Isoniazid prophylaxis therapy
Key affected populations
Resource limited settings
Rights: © The Author(s) 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
DOI: 10.1186/s12981-017-0137-z
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