Bangladesh population

AIDS rising among Rohingya population in Cox’s Bazar

Of 958 AIDS patients in Cox’s Bazar, 771 are Rohingya

TBS Report

July 29, 2022, 3:25 p.m.

Last modification: July 29, 2022, 3:53 p.m.

An estimated 40,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to India from neighboring Myanmar. Photo: Bloomberg.


An estimated 40,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to India from neighboring Myanmar. Photo: Bloomberg.

The number of AIDS cases is increasing every year in Cox’s Bazar, with the Rohingya being the most affected.

According to information provided by ART (antiretroviral therapy) and the HIV wing of Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital, the HIV testing program started at Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital in 2015.

Following the massive influx of Rohingya, 538 people were diagnosed with HIV in Cox’s Bazar between October 2017 and 2019, including 395 Rohingya.

However, in June 2022, the number of AIDS patients in Cox’s Bazar rose to 954, of whom 771 are Rohingya.

Currently, 710 people are on treatment, including 612 Rohingyas and 98 Bangladeshis.

So far, 61 Rohingyas and 57 Bengalis have died of AIDS.

Affected people believe that this number can increase many times over if HIV is properly and on a large scale.

ART and HIV focal point at Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital, Md Ashiqur Rahman, said not all parties involved have been reviewed yet. It is currently not possible to say exactly how many AIDS patients are in the Rohingya camps.

He said Myanmar is one of the AIDS-prone countries in Southeast Asia. Bangladesh is also at risk due to the high rate of AIDS among the Rohingya population.

Ukhiya Upazila Health and Family Planning Officer Ranjan Barua Rajon said, “We cannot confine the Rohingya population to a specific area. They move freely with the outside population. If the rate of HIV infection continues to rise among displaced Burmese nationals, it will certainly affect us too.”

In this situation, the Health Care Department of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission and the Health Care Department stressed the importance of monitoring Rohingyas in addition to AIDS testing.

Toha Bhuiyan, Cox’s Bazar Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission Office Health Coordinator, said, “There are a lot of foreigners in Cox’s Bazar, they should go through a screening process. If we can investigate the number of infected people in advance, then it will be possible to integrate them into the health services.”

The Line Manager of the Department of Infectious Disease Control, Prof Dr Md Nazmul Islam, said that if those living in the camps are not aware and if they do not help each other, then it will become a very important issue. difficult for government alone to control.