Suu Kyi's party throws feast to mark World AIDS Day

The National League for Democracy threw a feast for people with HIV urging the military Govt to do more to ease their suffering.

india Updated: Dec 01, 2006 17:18 IST

Aung San Suu Kyi's pro-democracy party threw a feast for people with HIV to mark World AIDS Day on Friday, while urging the military government to do more to ease their suffering.

Myanmar has one of the worst AIDS epidemics in Asia, exacerbated by the nation's crumbling health care system.

Officially some 339,000 people have HIV, but experts say the actual number could be twice that with roughly two per cent of adults infected.

Phyu Phyu Tin, who works with the National League for Democracy's HIV outreach, said the party wanted to hold an event that would bring people together and help them support each other.

"We want them to get together in one place, so they can see and understand each other. I am also glad to see them all," Phyu Phyu Tin said.

About 100 people attended the party with food and gifts and raffles at the NLD's rundown headquarters in Yangon.

Aung San Suu Kyi is currently under house arrest, as she has been for most of the last 17 years. The NLD won elections in 1990, but has never been allowed to govern.

"If Aunty Suu were here, we would be able to have more activities," Phyu Phyu Tin said.

She said Myanmar's HIV epidemic appears to be worsening, as more people have contacted the party as well as hospital and clinics to seek help.

"The HIV sufferers face many difficulties these days. I would like to ask the whole society, including the authorities, to give their warmest assistance," she said.

Khan Mayo Win, 27, who came to NLD headquarters two weeks ago from central Myanmar to seek help, said she has not received any drugs since she was diagnosed with HIV one year ago.

First Published: Dec 01, 2006 17:18 IST