A Leader in the fight against HIV & AIDS joins Boston-based Management Sciences for Health / Highlighted in SCIENCE Magazine

BOSTON, MA — Ms. San San Min of Management Sciences for Health was featured in the September 2003 issue of Science magazine. The article highlighted her notable contributions to the AIDS clinics in Myanmar, formerly Burma - a country with one of the worst HIV problems in Asia. Working under resource constraints and with very little support from the military government of Myanmar, Dr. Min successfully ran three of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) AIDS clinics.

Moreover, she implemented the first officially approved antiretroviral therapy triple-regimen pilot program in Myanmar. When the AIDS clinic, located in hard-hit Hlain Thayar, opened 3 years ago, there was a mean survival of 6 months. However, since beginning to treat patients with antiretroviral drugs, the mean survival has increased to 2 years.

In the country of 48 million, only two Myanmar hospitals have AIDS wards, and only a few citizens can afford the average $300-a-month cost of antiretrovirals. The Myanmar Health Ministry, which has implemented limited preventative, treatment or care measures, estimates the country currently has 180,000 HIV-infected people. Projections, however, from the World Health Organization indicate the number of HIV-positive persons is higher - approximately 687,000 people (nearly 3.5 percent of the adults). So Dr. Min's work has made a significant contribution to the fight against HIV & AIDS in her homeland.

Dr. San San Min is a public health physician with a master's degree in International Public Health. She joined MSH in September 2003 after serving with Médecins Sans Frontières in Myanmar for nine years as a project manager for an urban displaced population. While there, she conducted baseline health surveys and implemented primary health care programs with integrated sexually transmitted disease (STD) and HIV prevention and care services. Specifically, she integrated and implemented prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) programs for HIV-positive pregnant mothers and she managed nearly 800 registered persons living with HIV & AIDS at the home based, center based and hospital based outpatient level. Her work with MSF included providing technical assistance not only for her project but also to other in-country MSF projects in border areas with China, Thailand, and Bangladesh for STD/HIV, TB, and Malaria. Prior to MSF, Dr. Min worked for 11 years in Burma in the Ministry of Health providing clinical obstetrics and gynecology services.