By Ei Cherry Aung LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Shortly after Cho's husband passed away at his parent's home his family called to tell her he had died of AIDS and said she should get tested. Cho vividly remembers rushing to a clinic in the sweltering heat to get a blood test. She breathed a sigh of relief when it came out negative. But then she started losing weight and began falling ill more often. In September, the former market stallholder went for another HIV test. It was positive. "As soon as I found out I had HIV, I felt really sad as well as upset," the 43-year-old said, wiping tears from her cheeks. Within two days, she had admitted herself to a clinic and hospice for HIV patients founded by a member of parliament from the National League for Democracy (NLD). Her family, who live in the impoverished Hlaing Thar Yar township in Myanmar's main city Yangon, did not want her to live with them. Although the virus cannot be transmitted by day-to-day contact, they feared she would infect her younger sister's child. They support her financially, but would rather she never came home, said Cho, whose name has been changed to protect her identity. "My 21-year-old daughter has not come to visit me once since I arrived here, but at least she speaks to me on the phone, so it's not bad," she told Myanmar Now, an independent news service supported by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The hospice is home to nearly 300 patients, many with similar stories of rejection. Myanmar has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in Asia. Under reforms by a semi-civilian government since 2011, access to medication has improved compared to a few years ago when cash-strapped clinics had to turn patients away. Some 210,000 people in Myanmar live with HIV/AIDS, of whom around 160,000 need life-saving antiretroviral treatment (ART) based on World Health Organization guidelines, according to aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF). There is no official data on the proportion of patients with access to ART. MSF, long the main provider of HIV treatment in the Southeast Asian nation, says it currently gives ART to 35,000 HIV patients. Treatment is also becoming available at more state hospitals. "Now you can get ART in government-run hospitals in many states and regions," MSF doctor Soe Yadanar said ahead of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1. Yet the stigma faced by people living with HIV lingers. SHUNNED Ignorance and fear surrounding the HIV virus which causes AIDS are among the many challenges that will face Myanmar's new government, elected on Nov. 8, in overhauling a neglected health system and changing attitudes fed by misinformation and a conservative culture. A 48-year-old mother from Ayeyarwady Region has a similar tale to Cho. She says her community shunned her family when their HIV status came to light three years ago. "Since I got HIV, nobody asked me to work at their homes any more," said the woman, a laborer who looks much older than her years. She and her five-year-old son, also HIV positive, survive on fruits and vegetables from their garden. "Without a job, we don't have money. Sometimes it's really difficult to find food," she said. Like Cho, the woman only discovered she and her son had HIV after her husband died and a friend who was worried about her health took her to a clinic. The boy has little idea of his condition except that he needs to take regular medication, his mother said. But his friends at kindergarten seem to know. "My friends never ask me to join them when they're playing. They stop playing if I'm included," he said. MSF's Soe Yadanar said much of the stigma is linked to a lack of knowledge about HIV, and poor families not having anyone to care for people living with HIV. "We've seen cases where if someone looking after a patient with HIV dies while the patient is unwell, other people don't want to take care of the person with HIV anymore," she said. Soe Yadanar added that while access to ART is becoming easier, there are still challenges in delivering treatment because of a shortage of staff, particularly doctors. For Cho, who is now on ART, taking care of her health and diet is her main focus. But she has no illusions that her family will ever accept her again. "My daughter is worried that if she gets married, her husband would use my condition against her," she said. "So I think I'm going to spend whatever time that is left of my life in this hospice." (Editing by Ros Russell and Emma Batha; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit www.trust.org)
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/GettyVladimir Putin must go.His demented Kremlin speech Friday, during a ceremony in which he feebly asserted Russia was annexing portions of Ukraine, made the strongest case for the necessity of regime change in Moscow that any world leader has yet to make.But it has been clear the Russian dictator must be removed from office for a long time now.It has been clear because Putin’s actions and rhetoric demonstrate day in and day out that Ukraine c
- The Hill
Alyssa Farah Griffin denounces Trump after Elaine Chao attack: ‘He’s not even trying to hide the racism’
CNN commentator and “The View” co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin denounced former President Trump for comments he made attacking Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his wife, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. Trump said on Truth Social on Saturday that McConnell had a “death wish” for supporting bills that Democrats sponsored and referred to Chao…
Donald Trump says Mitch McConnell has a 'death wish' and insults his wife, Elaine Chao, after the senator voiced support for the Electoral Count Act reforms
Trump's remarks demonstrate a growing schism between him and McConnell, as the senator increasingly distanced himself from the former president.
- Panthers Wire
In a scenario straight out of a video game, we'd have the Panthers snatching QB Kyler Murray away from the Cardinals in Week 4's "Player Prowl."
- Business Insider
The US Navy said 'traces' of jet fuel were found in the water on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. A sailor says the problem was way worse.
"We were exposed to an unhealthy amount" of jet fuel, a sailor told Insider, adding that they believe the seriousness of the situation was downplayed.
The four royals received new titles following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 8
Republicans are mad that the Library of Congress allowed Lizzo — a classically trained flutist — to play James Madison's 200-year-old crystal flute
The Library of Congress lent Lizzo a 200-year-old crystal flute once gifted to James Madison for the Washington D.C. stop of her "Special" tour.
Letters exchanged between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and former U.S. President Donald Trump between April 2018 and August 2019 have recently been published. “I am ready to work with your excellency with all my heart and devotion,” Kim said in a letter dated April 1, 2018, nearly six weeks before he first met Trump at the Singapore Summit. On the same day, Trump responded that he was “happy to meet” Kim to “drastically” improve relations between their respective governments.
- Rolling Stone
The former president howled about the Senate Minority Leader and made a racist remark about former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao
As an expert on decorating, I think homeowners should move on from busy letter art, DVD-collection displays, heavy curtains, and all-gray aesthetics.
- Detroit Free Press
Detroit Lions DT Isaiah Buggs, who played two seasons with Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama, 'was shook' watching the QB's brain injury happen on TV.
- E! News
Miami Dolphins Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa Hospitalized for Head and Neck Injuries Sustained During Game
Miami Dolphins Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was taken to the hospital after sustaining injuries in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 29. Read on for the team's statement.
Visual guide to powerful Hurricane Ian, which has caused devastation in Cuba and Florida
- The Hill
Former President Trump is headed to Michigan on Saturday for the latest in a series of campaign rallies. But the event, to be held in Warren, will only sharpen questions about whether Trump’s influence is backfiring against the GOP in general election campaigns. The most prominent candidate Trump has backed in the Wolverine State, conservative…
KYIV (Reuters) -Ukrainian troops said on Saturday they had taken the key bastion of Lyman in occupied eastern Ukraine, a stinging defeat that prompted a close ally of President Vladimir Putin to call for the possible use of low-grade nuclear weapons. The capture came just a day after Putin proclaimed the annexation of four Ukrainian regions - including Donetsk, where Lyman is located - and placed them under Russia's nuclear umbrella, at a ceremony that was condemned by Kyiv and the West as an illegitimate farce.
As Donald Trump and his eldest kids Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric tend to their $250 million business fraud lawsuit in New York, the three adult children are handling the legal situation in their own unique ways. Ivanka is choosing a much different strategy than her brothers by completely ignoring the drama publicly. Ivanka is […]
- Associated Press
After being encircled by Ukrainian forces, Russia pulled troops out Saturday from an eastern Ukrainian city that it had been using as a front-line hub. It was the latest victory for the Ukrainian counteroffensive that has humiliated and angered the Kremlin. Russia’s withdrawal from Lyman complicates its internationally vilified declaration just a day earlier that it had annexed four regions of Ukraine — an area that includes Lyman.
- Thunder Wire
The eight-player trade is official.
- The Hill
Missouri Senate candidate Eric Schmitt (R) is leading Democratic challenger Trudy Busch Valentine by 11 percentage points, according to a new Emerson College Polling-The Hill survey released Friday. The poll of likely Missouri voters showed 49 percent of respondents saying they would support Schmitt if the Senate election were held today compared to Busch Valentine…
- CBS News
Tropical Storm Orlene became a hurricane Saturday.