The All Myanmar Network for People Living with HIV has demanded the government to issue an official directive through the Ministry of Health against discrimination of the people living with HIV by health workers in private clinics.
The demand was made during the seventh meeting of the Network for People Living with HIV, held at the Excel Tower in Shwegondaing, Yangon on September 24. The network sent their demands to the government, UN agencies and international organizations working for HIV/AIDS.
The Network said that patients were being discriminated by health workers during treatment in private hospitals and clinics. The discrimination leads to psychological ill-effects on the patients in the long run and eventually, they withdraw from proper treatment, the network added.
Myo Thant Aung, Chairman of the Network said, “The staff in private clinics will only follow directives issued directly by the Ministry of Health for medical ethics and it will help can lessen discrimination against patients undergoing treatment.”
The Network made a 6-point demand on September 24, to the Health Department and the Ministry of Health.
The demand includes ensuring availability of cheap ART drugs, inclusion of representatives of HIV patients at township level ART center, issue directives against discrimination of HIV patients in workplaces, cooperation by UN agencies and employers in issuing of such directives and the support of MPs in HIV patients welfare initiatives.
The Network also said that the people living with HIV will have easy access to ART drugs only if township ART centers were expanded.
Currently only 40% of the people living with HIV have access to ART drugs.