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Myanmar women in cross-border marriages receive free AIDS treatment in SW China city

(Xinhua)

09:07, December 02, 2011

KUNMING, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Women from Myanmar who are married to Chinese men in neighboring Yunnan Province are able to receive free HIV/AIDS checks or medical treatment if found infected, health officials said Thursday.

It is estimated at least 25,000 people in Yunnan, which borders Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos, are in cross-border marriages, of which HIV carriers and AIDS patients account for 2 percent, said Xu Heping, director of the provincial bureau of HIV/AIDS prevention and control..

Because as many as 95 percent of those people are in "de facto" marriages, or marriages that are not legally registered, it is extremely difficult to offer HIV/AIDS prevention and control services among them, Xu said.

Beginning from January, authorities in Ruili City, which borders Myanmar, decided to provide pre-marriage HIV/AIDS testing, anti-viral treatment and prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission free of charge to married Myanmar women who reside in Ruili.

"All they (the women) need to present (for free services) is a statement from the village they reside in to prove their marital status," said Zhang Miaoyun, director of the city's AIDS prevention and control bureau.

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