Burma's military government says allegations that HIV rates are on the rise in the country are part of a campaign by opponents to destabilize the country.
The secretary of Burma's ruling State Peace and Development Council Lieutenant General Thein Sein says "destructive elements with a political agenda" are spreading "false accusations" that HIV and AIDS are spreading in Burma and trying to "block access to international assistance."
But, he said the government and civil society groups have been actively fighting the spread of the virus. The state-run "New Light of Myanmar" newspaper reported the official defended the government's efforts during a World AIDS Day event in Burma Friday.
His comments were made in response to criticism leveled by the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who says Burma has failed to address problems related to drugs, HIV/AIDS and other diseases in the country.
Information for this report is provided by AP.