HIV/AIDS Awareness: October 2006 Archives

Large rise in HIV rates among gay men


HIV/Aids prevention in Zurich's red-light district (stopaids) The number of new HIV infections among gay and bisexual men in Switzerland has almost doubled over the past three years.

In a report published on Monday, the Federal Health Office said it was concerned by this trend and intended to focus greater efforts on its HIV/Aids prevention programmes.

In Switzerland three out of every 1,000 people are living with HIV/Aids. Over the years better prevention has reduced infection rates among drug users and immigrants, but since 2000 new HIV infection rates among gay and bisexual men have continued to rise.

HIV Warning As Fake Condoms Found In London


condomFake condoms that look like they are made by the country's biggest supplier are putting youngsters at risk of unwanted pregnancy and HIV infection, it was revealed today.

Worried bosses at Durex have placed adverts in the national press warning that a batch of counterfeit "extra safe" condoms has been sold in the UK.

The counterfeit condoms could put users in danger of catching Sexually Transmitted Infections, including HIV, as well as getting pregnant, a Government body warned.

UN envoy in Malawi to assess AIDS programmes


UNLILONGWE (AFP) - The United Nations' special envoy for HIV and AIDS in Africa accused the world's wealthiest countries on Sunday of failing to deliver on promises to increase aid to the most impoverished continent.

"Where is the G8 money ? Where is the promise ... The world is running out of patience. Why has the G8 defaulted?" Stephen Lewis told reporters in Malawi.

The world's seven richest nations and Russia pledged at a summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, in July 2005 to provide universal access to treatment for AIDS sufferers in Africa until 2010.

The G8 nations had also promised to help support children orphaned by AIDS on the continent and double their donations to the Global Fund.

Responding to HIV the Pacific way


Thursday 26 October 2006, Suva – The response to HIV and other STIs in the Pacific is equal to none other in the world, except perhaps for the region’s cousin in the Atlantic, the Caribbean. In both regions, key partners in the fight against HIV and other STIs have come together in a joint effort to plan and align their activities towards the same shared goals: to reduce the spread and impact of HIV/AIDS while embracing people infected and affected by the virus in Pacific communities.

More than 20 key people from a wide range of international and regional agencies and NGOs gathered this week in Fiji to draft the joint annual work plan for 2007 within the framework of the 2004–2008 Pacific Regional HIV/AIDS Strategy Implementation Plan (PRSIP).

Clients give lessons on AIDS in India's brothels


KOLKATA, India (Reuters) - Activists in eastern India battling to curb  HIV/AIDS infections in one of Asia's biggest red light districts have recruited an unusual group of people to help fight the deadly virus -- the customers of prostitutes.

Kolkata's notorious red light area, Sonagachhi, is home to about 10,000 prostitutes, who live in brothels lining the narrow lanes in the north of the city, catering for the needs of more than 25,000 clients every day.

While most customers are either unaware of AIDS or not interested in safe sex, anti-AIDS activists say they have enlisted almost 200 regular clients to Sonagachhi to teach fellow visitors about using condoms and having frequent blood tests.

NEW DELHI, Oct 26 (Bernama) -- In order to create awareness among people living with HIV/AIDS, the government has planned a series of ad campaigns, starting with information on providing free of cost Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) drugs in more than 95 state-run hospitals, a state-media reported.

The ART drugs is being provided for free of cost to 45,000 people.

Press Trust of India (PTI) quoted Director General of India's National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) Sujatha Rao said many people are still ignorant of this fact and NACO wants to create awareness among them.

Africa's forgotten HIV children


HIV childrenChildren with HIV and Aids in the developing world are half as likely as adults to get life-saving drugs. This means fewer than one in 10 of over two million children infected get anti-retroviral treatment (ARVs).

The BBC's Angus Crawford met three children living with the illness in Swaziland, which has the highest rate of infection in the world.

HIV/AIDS project takes novel approach


As an experimental project to study HIV and AIDS in the Twin Countiesenters its second year of operation, the activists involved say they're making progress.

Project GRACE was established in September 2005 as a program to explore high rates of HIV and AIDS in the Rocky Mount area using community-based participatory research – a relatively new method intended to involve the subject community in the research process.

Unlike traditional studies that bring in outside researchers, research for the project is undertaken by a consortium of community leaders and citizens directly affected by the problem.

London Diary / HIV/AIDS In The UK – A Caring World


The story of HIV/AIDS is an oft written story yet there are more and more ways of writing it. It is a living story, ever developing for good and bad. As a reward for the Thomson Foundation EU-India Media Initiative Award for excellence on reporting on HIV/AIDS issues in India, six journalists – two each from print, television and radio – were at London for a week-long study tour.

During the week, the journalist team visited different organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, in a bid to get a clearer picture of the problems, dynamics and manifestations of the most challenging health issue of our times - HIV/AIDS.

A visit to the Department of Health, a department of State, responsible for carrying out the decisions of the democratically elected members of the Parliament, provided the much-needed introduction to HIV/AIDS in the UK, particularly London.

China: higher HIV infection rate among gay men


YICHANG, Hubei Province, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- The HIV infection rate among gay men in China is climbing at an alarming rate largely due to a lack of awareness about the disease, according to an expert on homosexual studies.

The HIV infection rate is nearing 1.5 percent among sexually active homosexual men, Zhang Beichuan, a professor with Qingdao University's Medical School, told an anti-AIDS forum in Yichang.

"The health authorities have to do something to curb the rising infection rate among gay men, who account for two to four percent of the sexually active adult male population," Zhang said.

Gap Inc commits half of sales of its RED-branded product line to the Global Fund, exemplifying this new business model for generating sustainable funds for addressing the AIDS pandemic. -- The business community response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic has been largely philanthropic, or individual companies such as Coca-Cola (ticker: KO) or Ford (F) addressing the issue as it affects their own operations. Now comes the (PRODUCT) RED campaign, the brainchild of U2 singer and activist Bono and Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa Chair Bobby Shriver, which applies a strong business model to help solve HIV/AIDS with a focus on Africa. Six companies--including Gap, Motorola, Apple, and American Express - have signed on to create RED-branded products with significant portions of profits going to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Sports And HIV/Aids - Potential Impact On Children


by Michael Addo, Ghananian Chronicle, 18 Oct 2006

OUT OF the 40 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the world today, 2.5 million people infected are children under the age of 15.

And most of these live in developing countries where access to anti-retroviral medication, which has been prolonging the lives of people with HIV/AIDS in the developing world, is not accessible.

Similar to malaria, HIV is preventable provided that people are empowered with the knowledge and skills about the true nature of the infection and the effective means for its prevention.

HIV/AIDS and Malnutrition Locked in "Vicious Cycle"


by Charlene Porter, Washington File, 16 Oct 2006

Washington -- In many of the world’s poor regions, where HIV/AIDS has taken the worst toll, the virus and malnutrition are locked in a “vicious cycle” that worsens the impact of both.

“Insufficient intake [of calories] can enhance the progression of the virus,” said Suneetha Kadiyala, a scientist at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) who participated in a panel on food security and HIV/AIDS at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington October 16.

African leaders urged to test for Aids


African leaders need to set an example and submit themselves publicly to tests for Aids if they really want to demonstrate their determination to fight the disease, according to campaigners.

Around 6 500 Africans are estimated to die every day from Aids but the stigma that continues to surround the disease means that members of the political elite are all too often reluctant to talk openly about it.

Former South African president Nelson Mandela was widely praised last year when he spoke about the death of his son Makgatho but campaigners say public figures are usually keen to keep such matters private.

OUAGADOUGOU (AFP) - Luc Montagnier, a French virologist who helped to first identify
HIV, said that antiretroviral drugs should be combined with a therapeutic vaccine to revive an
AIDS patient's immune system.

"Our proposal is that after a relatively short triple therapy, we add immunostimulators, antioxidants and a therapeutic vaccine to make the immune system of the sick person control the viral infection," Montagnier said.

Former NBA star Magic Johnson on Thursday spoke in Washington, D.C., as part of a 10-city tour in partnership with Abbott Laboratories to raise HIV/AIDS awareness in black communities, especially among youth, the Washington Post reports. According to the Post, 40,000 people in the U.S. become HIV-positive every year, and blacks -- who account for 13% of the U.S. population -- make up about half that number.

"I'm here so that what happened to me will not happen to you," Johnson said, adding, "HIV is running through our community in a big way. And sex among teenagers is up" (Pierre, Washington Post, 10/13). Johnson discovered he was HIV-positive in 1991 after a routine blood test, according to the Associated Press (Associated Press, 10/13).

HIV rates surge to 10-year peak in Australia


Microscopic view of the HIV virus next to a lymphocyte.

SYDNEY (AFP) - New cases of HIV in Australia have surged to their highest point in a decade as advances in treatment dull fear of the disease among gay men.

Australia has experienced a 41 percent increase in new cases since 2000, reversing a major drop in new diagnoses after 1996, according to the latest report from the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

Area Latinos targeted for AIDS/HIV education


AIDS newsBy Delen Goldberg, The Post Standard, 11 Oct 2006

Local health officials say the numbers don't make sense.

Hispanics are the fastest-growing population in the nation, and HIV and AIDS are spreading rapidly among the group.

In Central New York, the Latino population also is booming but health workers aren't seeing the number of HIV and AIDS cases they expect.

Scarlett creates social awareness for HIV


AIDS newsScarlett Johansson gets tested for HIV twice a year. The Black Dahlia actress insists she is not promiscuous but has the test because she is a responsible human being.

Scarlett, 25, revealed to Allure magazine: "I get tested for HIV twice a year. One has to be socially aware. It's part of being a decent human, to be tested for STDs. It's disgusting when people don't. It's so irresponsible.

But contrary to popular belief, I'm not promiscuous. The Scoop actress also claims that monogamy goes against nature because people "are like animals."

But despite her liberal views on sex, Scarlett - who is dating her The Black Dahlia co-star Josh Hartnett - insists she is happy being
with just one man. She added: "I do think on some basic level we are animals, and by instinct we kind of breed accordingly.

AIDS newsFREETOWN, 10 October (IRIN) - Denial and ignorance of HIV/AIDS are still major problems in post-war Sierra Leone, hindering care and support for people living with the virus.

"When I tested positive in 2002 and told my family, they'd never heard of HIV/AIDS; they didn't know it existed and they didn't want me in the house, so I had to leave," HIV-positive Ibrahim Kargbo, 41, told IRIN/PlusNews in the capital, Freetown.

WHO recommends HIV/AIDS measures for Vietnam


AIDS news A WHO mission to Vietnam from Monday to Tuesday highlighted solutions to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS before it moves into the general population.

The measures include rapid scaling-up of harm reduction interventions; a comprehensive continuum of treatment, care and support; behavior change communication; program management; and monitoring, supervision and evaluation, according to a press release issued Tuesday by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the country.

Toll of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria: The African reality


AIDS newsWITH a Doctorate degree in medicine from Tufts University, a Masters degree in International Public Health from Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from Lehigh University, Dr. Akudo Anyanwu Ikemba is one of the notable Nigerian scientists committed to the cause of African development currently undermined by the devastation of AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

AS the CEO of Friends Africa and a director with the Center for Global Health and Economic Development at the Earth Institute of Columbia University, as well as former Fellow of the Centre for Diseases Control (CDC) Atlanta, USA, and former lecturer at Tufts University School of Medicine, she is at the forefront of a positive effort towards altering the future of Africa in the prevention and treatment of the threat posed by HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.
In this encounter, she sheds light on... Excerpts.

AIDS news For most of the 1980s, a diagnosis of AIDS was a virtual death sentence. People suspected of having the incurable disease were shunned, fired from jobs or driven from homes. Many avoided getting tested for fear that their status would be revealed.

The progress since then has been remarkable. New medications keep the HIV virus in check so that patients who are diagnosed early can extend their lives by 25 years, according to a Harvard Medical School study. Public attitudes have softened.

AIDS news by Malaika Laurent, Caribbean News Net, 9 Oct 2006ROSEAU, Dominica: A campaign to limit wanton sex practices, most common during festive seasons, will take place during the World Creole Music Festival in Dominica; to protect both locals and visitors from transmission of the HIV/AIDS virus.

Statistics indicate that HIV in the Caribbean is the second highest in the world. Its prevalence rate exceeds 2% of the population in five countries, and AIDS has become the leading cause of death among adults aged 15-44 years in this region.

HIV awareness classes for teachers


AIDS newsBANGALORE: A scheme to periodically review the syllabus and an awareness programme for teachers in aid of HIV+ children — primary and secondary education minister Basavaraj Horatti's goodie bag came loaded at the valedictory session of the seminar on ‘Karnataka's Elementary Education System' at national Institute of Advanced Sciences on Saturday.

AIDS news"Five Myths About the HIV Epidemic in Asia," PLoS Medicine: Peter Godwin, senior adviser at the National Centre for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and STDs in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and colleagues in the article discuss five "commonly held" myths regarding HIV/AIDS in Asian countries. According to researchers, the myths -- which could "seriously jeopardize" the fight against HIV/AIDS in the region -- are that Asia's HIV/AIDS epidemic will have a "development[al] impact" similar to that in sub-Saharan Africa; that the "Three Ones" strategy -- one national coordination authority, one strategic plan, and one monitoring and evaluation system -- is an "essential framework" for expanding the response to HIV/AIDS in Asia; that nongovernmental organizations have been more effective than governments in fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic;

HIV and Aids killing teachers daily - study


AIDS newsEleven teachers die of HIV related illness daily in KwaZulu-Natal, and by 2010 one in every four teachers will be infected with HIV.

These alarming figures were revealed at a World Teachers' Day event in Durban on Wednesday, where teachers spent the day encouraging one another to get tested for HIV and to make use of a newly established teacher support programme.

The celebrations organised by the South African Democratic Teachers' Union focused on the prevention, care, treatment and an access programme, which was launched in March by teacher unions, the education department, Solidarity Centre South Africa and the Tshepang Doctors Trust.

Don't forget the killer diseases, experts urge


A young girl visits her mother, a tuberculosis patient, at the Sanatora Do Huambo hospital in the southern Angolan city of Huambo July 2, 2006. While every human death from bird flu commands widespread attention, some experts are urging the world not to forget killer diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, which claim millions of lives each year. REUTERS'Wayne Conradie (Reuters)by Tan Ee Lyn, 4 Oct 2006

HONG KONG (Reuters) - While every human death from bird flu commands widespread attention, some experts are urging the world not to forget killer diseases such as tuberculosis and AIDS, which claim millions of lives each year.

More effort must be put into preventing these diseases, and vaccines -- once they are ready -- must be made available to the poorest nations, which suffer most from these illnesses.

South Africa’s health minister takes the heat


By ROBYN DIXON, Jerusalem Post, 03 Oct 2006

JOHANNESBURG – The UN special envoy for AIDS has likened her to the “lunatic fringe,” while a well-known comedian derides her as the “Angel of Death.” She is South Africa’s top health official and one of the most important front-line fighters against AIDS in this country beset by an epidemic. But controversial Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang has been widely criticized for questioning the effectiveness of antiretroviral drugs to combat AIDS, advocating beets, lemon, garlic and sweet potatoes as treatment instead. Activists had to take legal action to force the government to provide the medication to pregnant women and prisoners.

She has been criticized in international forums and recently faced a call from dozens of international health experts to be fired. Still, South African President Thabi Mbeki has remained steadfast. Some analysts suggest it is his stubborn loyalty to a longtime political ally, others that he is satisfied by her performance because her views are similar to his own.

Over 40 percent in EU take no AIDS precautions


More than 40 percent of people in the European Union take no precautions against AIDS during sex, an EU survey showed on Monday.

According to the poll, carried out in September and October of last year, fewer people in the 15 "old" member states said they practiced safe sex compared to the previous survey conducted in 2002.

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This page is a archive of entries in the HIV/AIDS Awareness category from October 2006.

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