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Project information

Life-Saving Medicines for People with HIV in Burma

Many thousands of vulnerable adults and children in Burma are needlessly dying from HIV/AIDS each year. At an approximate cost of £300 per person - we are able to supply medicines and the necessary associated medical care to save a person's life for a year.

January 2011 - January 2018

Charity information: Aids Ark

Aids Ark logo
  • Need


    The Aids epidemic in Burma is amongst the worst in Asia. An estimated 190,000 people are infected with HIV and tens of thousands of people are in urgent need of life-saving anti-retroviral medicines (ARVs) . From an almost negligable base, the Burmese government has only recently started providing ARVs and the big international anti-HIV programmes – such as the Global Fund – are also only starting to operate there. In the meantime those who cannot afford ARVs - many thousands - are dying.


    We are funding our partner in Burma, Medical Action Myanmar www.medicalactionmyanmar.com, to provide a comprehensive package of ARV treatment (including doctors, nurses, medicines, tests and counselling). It costs only £300 per annum to provide this for each person. The big international programmes are arriving in Burma but will take around three years to scale up. In the meantime, we will supply the ARVs to keep as many vulnerable adults and children alive as long as possible.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To save lives by funding the treatment and care of named adults and children living with HIV/AIDS.


    » To fund the supply of life saving ARVs for those who are unable to access these proven life-saving medications.
    » To provide additional support - such as doctors, nurses, tests and counselling - to ensure ARV treatment is effective.
    » To supply this treatment and care until the big international anti-HIV programmes scale up and our patients can then be passed onto them.

    What success will look like

    Success will be measured by the number of people we can keep alive on ARVs.

  • Impact


    Almost all people on ARVs return to health and have a life-expectancy of many years. Parents are able to return to work and support their families who might otherwise face destitution. Children are able to attend school and enjoy normal childhood development. We also follow-up on the treatment of all our members.


    The main risk is that the large international anti-HIV programmes do not scale up within the next few years and we have many people whose lives depend upon us continuing to supply them ARVs. Aidsark keeps aside funds in reserve for this eventuality.
    A further risk is the political situation deteriorates. However, we have been active in Myanmar for several years and even when the military was more oppressive they nevertheless let non-political NGOs such s ourselves operate unhindered.


    Donors receive reports several times a year detailing the progress of our programmes.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £40,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £31,000 Medicines Anti-retroviral medicines
      £7,000 Personnel Doctors and nurses
      £2,000 Logistics Transport/freight/storage
  • Background


    Although rich in natural resources, according to the Human Development Index (HDI), Burma ranks very low - 150 out of 187 countries. The military junta which runs Burma provides almost no healthcare services to its people - healthcare expenditure per capita is $14 (in contrast to the UK at $3598). The main focus of the junta is selling raw materials - such as oil, teak and rubber - to countries such as China. As long as NGOs remain non-political, they have not been interfering with their work.


    The clinic is located in Hlaingthayar - one of the poorest areas of Burma - where there is a crucial need amongst vulnerable adults and children for the services we are offering.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Aidsark has been supplying ARVs and associated treatments since 2002 to people who would otherwise not receive treatment (in countries including Lesotho, South Africa, Uganda, India and Burma). We have a simple, secure, effective and tested system in place. 100% of money raised will be used to fund the treatment of HIV - the cost of all overheads are fully covered by the 2 Founder Trustees.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr Frank Smithuis

    Dr Frank has been responsible for rolling out ARVs to many current recipients in Burma. He is in charge of this project on the ground.

    Derek Frost

    Founder and Trustee of Aids Ark. Derek has run all of Aids Ark's projects to date and helps cover all Aids Ark overheads.

Nu Win Zaw before and 5 months after ARVs

Nu Win Zaw before and 5 months after ARVs