National Geographic : 2011 Aug
A mother tends to her son, Kyaw Kyaw Win, 33 and HIV-positive, in an AIDS hospital outside Yangon (top left). He later died. Today some 240,000 Burmese live with HIV/AIDS, often a result of intravenous drug use; the death rate is 17,000 a year. A small budget for antiviral drugs makes AIDS "a relatively fatal condition," notes Johns Hopkins epidemiologist Chris Beyrer. Myanmar spends nearly two times more on defense than on health and education. Beggars of all ages are common at the Maha Myat Muni Pagoda in Mandalay (bottom left). A woman spared by Cyclone Nargis---which killed three-quarters of tiny Pyinsalu's inhabitants in 2008---is working on a new school (above) that will also serve as a cyclone shelter. The government has been slow to help people rebuild.