Published: Monday 15 June 1998

Burma may have the world's highest rate of HIV infection and AIDS contracted from dirty needles, say medical experts. The government has reported registering only 60,000 drug addicts, with as few as 17,000 infected with AIDS. Foreign medical experts put the total number of addicts closer to 5,00,000 and estimate and several hundred thousand heroin injectors have become HIV-positive. "A majority of intravenous drug users are HIV-positive," says Martin Joseph, a consulting psychiatrist at the general hospital in Lashio, Burma.

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