When her father died of AIDS in 2003, Pyae Phu Khaing* was just 3 years old, and only two years later her mother died of the same disease. The young girl fell into the care of her grandmother.
But her hardships were not over. When she suddenly began to lose weight while in primary school, a doctor advised a blood test. It found she was HIV positive. She was 12 years old.
The shock of the news and subsequent antiretroviral treatment (ART) provided by a private HIV/AIDS clinic in Rangoon’s North Dagon Township forced her to leave school for a year. After she regained strength and the condition was brought under control, she returned with the help of the clinic’s staff.
Now she is completing her ninth grade exam and Pyae Phu Khaing says she wants to become a nurse.
Her situation, however tragic, is better than that of most children in Burma who have been infected by HIV/AIDS, or who lost their parents to the disease, according to Nay Linn, operations manager for the Phoenix Association (Yangon), a self-help group for people living with HIV.
Full story: The Irrawaddy
News and updates on Myanmar's ethnic internal conflicts.
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