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Doctors Without Borders Issues Alert on AIDS in Burma

The international medical group Doctors Without Borders said Burma's military government must act now if it wants to address one of Asia's most serious epidemics of HIV/AIDS.

The group said that if Burma does not get the funds it needs for antiretroviral drugs, some 24,000 people could die next year from the disease. Doctors Without Borders said that in 2007 alone, AIDS-related illnesses killed 25,000 people.

In its report, which was released Tuesday in Bangkok, the group said that some 240,000 people in Burma are infected with HIV/AIDS virus, but only several thousand are receiving life-saving treatment.

The report says Doctors Without Borders is providing treatment to about 11,000 patients while the Burmese government, the United Nations and several non-governmental groups are taking care of another 4,000 patients.