Myanmar: First patients take oral drug for HIV-related blindness

Reduction in pricing still needed to ensure wider access to treatment

Melbourne 23 July 2014 – During the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) announced that for the first time in Myanmar, patients have begun receiving oral treatment for Cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis, a neglected opportunistic disease linked to HIV/AIDS which can cause permanent blindness. Although this drug has been available since 2001 in the developed world, the only treatment option available in Myanmar until now was once-weekly injections directly into the eye, an extremely uncomfortable procedure for the patient that requires carefully trained doctors.