HIV/AIDS Awareness: November 2006 Archives

wan yanhaiBEIJING (AFP) - A leading Chinese AIDS activist recently detained by police has said the number of people suffering from the disease in China could be 10 times higher than official estimates.

Veteran AIDS activist Wan Yanhai also said Thursday authorities detained him and banned a conference he organized because the government was nervous about being held responsible by sufferers over their infections from public hospitals.

China's health ministry said last week that 183,733 people were confirmed with HIV/AIDS at the end of October, a 27.5 percent rise from the end of last year.

S.Africa seeks new start on AIDS fight

aids in south africaCAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa will unveil a new plan aimed at fighting its HIV/AIDS crisis on Friday, seeking to calm bitter debate and revamp policies that have thus far done little to stop the epidemic.

South Africa's AIDS battle has been two-fold, with doctors and community groups struggling to help an estimated 5 million people infected with the virus and government officials fending off critics who accuse them of mishandling the disaster.

The criticism peaked at this year's world AIDS conference in Toronto, where South Africa was accused of "lunatic" negligence on HIV/AIDS by activists, doctors and even a U.N. official.
light to uniteBristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY - News) in cooperation with the National AIDS Fund today launched the third annual "Light to Unite" campaign in support of World AIDS Day. This year's "Light to Unite" program shines a light on the devastating impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in underserved communities throughout the United States. Bristol-Myers Squibb and the National AIDS Fund are encouraging people across the country to visit to show their support and to educate themselves and others on emerging HIV/AIDS issues within diverse communities across the U.S.

On the "Light to Unite" Web site, visitors can light a virtual candle, share stories about how HIV/AIDS has impacted their lives, and help increase awareness of the epidemic by e-mailing a friend. For each virtual candle lit through December 31, 2006, Bristol-Myers Squibb will contribute $1 to the National AIDS Fund, up to a maximum contribution of $100,000, to benefit AIDS service organizations in underserved communities in the U.S. Web site visitors will also have the opportunity to increase the impact of the Bristol-Myers Squibb contribution to the National AIDS Fund by making an additional donation on the National AIDS Fund Web site at

France to fight AIDS with 20-cent condoms

20 cent condoms (courtesy AFP)PARIS (AFP) - The French government said it would make 10 million cut-priced condoms available in high schools, night clubs, cinemas and hospitals to try to combat the spread of HIV-AIDS.

Health Minister Xavier Bertrand said the campaign aimed to ensure safe-sex becomes "a reflex", with condoms to go on sale for 20 euro cents (25 US cents) in 20,000 outlets around the country from early next year.

The condoms will also be available in thousands of tobacconist shops, newsagents and pharmacies.

According to the French sanitary institute INVS, 6,700 new cases of HIV were reported in France in 2005, compared to 7,000 the previous year.

Study Shows Americans Ambivalent About HIV/AIDS Crisis

AIDS surveyCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Nov. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Almost two-fifths of Americans have difficulty sympathizing with HIV/AIDS victims, according to a study commissioned and released by Compassion International.

Thirty-nine percent of the people polled agreed strongly or somewhat with the statement: "You have more sympathy for people who have cancer than you do for people who have HIV or AIDS because you feel most of those with HIV/AIDS got the disease as a result of their decisions or lifestyles."

Roughly one out of seven Americans (15 percent) said they donated in 2005 to an organization specifically to address the HIV/AIDS crisis. But the survey, conducted in advance of World AIDS Day Dec. 1, also found that only 8 percent of Americans have a compassionate attitude toward HIV/AIDS victims and have donated to the cause.

Singapore forms panel to fight HIV

singaporeSINGAPORE - Singapore has formed a national policy committee to combat the rise of HIV cases, local media reported Monday.

The announcement came with the news that 137 HIV cases had been reported from July through October, bringing the total of new cases this year to 286, Channel NewsAsia quoted the Health Ministry as saying.

"I think the biggest issue and the most important thing is testing and I think we'll be talking more about that over the next few months," said senior state minister Balaji Sadasivan, who will chair the committee. "The fight against AIDS will be a long drawn fight."

Don't reject or abandon AIDS victims, Pope says

Pope BenedictVATICAN CITY, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Sufferers of infectious diseases such as AIDS should not be victims of prejudice, rejection and indifference by a society obsessed with personal physical beauty and health, Pope Benedict said on Friday.

The Pope, speaking to participants of a conference on the pastoral care of patients with infectious diseases, said the dignity of all sick people had to respected, regardless of which disease they had or how they may have contracted it.

"Among the prejudices that hinder or limit efficient care for victims of infectious diseases is the attitude of indifference and even exclusion or rejection which sometimes emerges in a rich society," he told the group.

"This attitude is even fostered by the image given in the media of men and women who are mostly concerned about their own physical beauty, health and biological vitality," he said.

China AIDS forum cancelled after activist's arrest

wan yanhai (c) AFPBEIJING (AFP) - A non-government forum on AIDS and the legal rights of AIDS victims was cancelled in Beijing, days after well-known Chinese activist Wan Yanhai was taken away by police, organizers said.

The "Blood Safety, AIDS and Legal Human Rights Workshop" was cancelled after Wan was taken into custody Friday by four policemen who burst into the Beijing headquarters of the AIDS Action Project, spokeswoman Wang Lixuan told AFP.

The Sunday workshop was to be attended by about 50 people who had contracted AIDS or the HIV virus that causes AIDS from unsafe blood transfusions, often administered by local government-related medical institutions, she said.

AIDS task force to shut down

aids The Santa Rosa Minority HIV/AIDS Task Force`s contract with the Florida Department of Health is not being renewed, and the nonprofit agency will close its doors.

"We received a letter that our contract would end Dec. 31, but no explanation was given," executive director Gail Collins said. "The $75,000 we get from the state is our only source of money."

Milton Mayor Guy Thompson has sent a letter of support for the task force to the department.
church Religious leaders and faith-based organizations are questioning the global political will to fight HIV and AIDS in the light of the new 2006 AIDS Epidemic Update issued by UNAIDS.

"The human toll of the epidemic is undeniable and increasing. The statistics represent the lives of our families and friends, our faith communities and our religious leaders. We all must do more," says Dr Manoj Kurian of the World Council of Churches.

The UN report released in Geneva on 21 November 2006 indicates that the number of people living with HIV increased in every region of the world from 2004 to 2006, with the greatest increases in East Asia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia.

India told to get grip on HIV in 2007

Ashok Alexander, irector of the the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Indian HIV-prevention project (courtesy Reuters)NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India must get on top of its HIV epidemic by next year or risk seeing it spiral out of control, the man who controls the richest private anti-AIDS fund in the country and a senior United Nations official warned.

"The signs are still ominous," Ashok Alexander, the director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's $258-million Indian HIV-prevention project, told Reuters in an interview.

He said the rising prevalence of HIV in more than 100 districts in which the foundation operates showed that a decade of government efforts had not slowed the virus, which is now estimated to have infected 5.7 million Indians.

Reality show screens for HIV

Sony Big Boss show (courtesy Times Now TV) Sony's reality show Big Boss seems to have quite caught on the imagination of urban audiences. But when the channel asked its contestants to undergo for a health check including HIV test, the question automatically rises, have Indian audiences finally grown up?

Taking cue from the international hit reality show 'Big Brother', the Indian television screen is now playing host to its version called 'Big Boss'. The show has 13 Indian celebrities, who will spend 3 months in a locked house, moreover they can only leave the house if evicted by public vote. With 13 cameras monitoring their every move, this show feeds on the voyeuristic streak of the viewers.

Politics of HIV/AIDS

hiv prevalence in indiaINDIA - The ball for the forth-coming 9th Assembly election campaign is set rolling already. The surprisingly ever busy politicians, ironically the people alleged that they have done very little in spite of their staunch self-proclaimed stand that they have been busy, are at their busiest now. Every party, big or small worth all the imaginative promises, is out to woo the votes of "our HIV/AIDS infected and affected brothers and sisters who have been unfortunately marginalized by the society".

In Manipur, the ruling as well as opposition parties suddenly seem to wake up to the HIV/AIDS reality that is writ large in the state. One party after the other is holding political advocacy programme on HIV/AIDS aggressively to woo the people living with HIV/AIDS by including their issues in the election manifestoes. Dr Khomdon Lisam, a well-known medical practitioner in the field of HIV/AIDS said in one of the political advocacy programme that political parties should take up HIV/AIDS as the most important priority. He said that maximum numbers of youths in Manipur have lost their lives not to bullets but to drug and HIV/AIDS. Truly, as pointed out by the doctor, the person who was shot dead is flashed in media the very next day but we often lack knowledge of a neighbour who died due AIDS.
SurinamePARAMARIBO, Suriname: Promising additional funds if necessary, the Netherlands has donated 303,300 euros towards several HIV/AIDS projects in Suriname.

At the signing ceremony Tuesday in Paramaribo, Dutch Minister of Development Cooperation, Agnes van Ardenne, stressed the importance of the fight against the deadly disease. “I am very pleased to sign these documents and the Netherlands is willing to donate more funds if necessary,” said the Dutch official.

Suriname's acting Minister of Health, Michel Felisi, stressed the importance of minimising the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS. The funds donated to the National AIDS Program (NAP) are to be utilised for activities to combat stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV and AIDS.

$1.7 million more sought to prevent HIV in Chicago


Ald.Tom Tunney (44th) Dismayed that the 2007 city budget proposed by Mayor Richard Daley has no increase in HIV-prevention funding , Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) is seeking an amendment to mandate a $1.7 million boost to fight the disease.

The number of reported HIV/AIDS cases in Chicago has increased 20 percent since 2003--particularly among African-Americans and Latinos, according to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. But there has not been a city budget increase in HIV-prevention funding since then.

"Early prevention could have saved so many lives in my community: the white gay male, North Side community," said Tunney. "We need these dollars for the ravaging effects of what's happening in the Latino and African-American communities."

Unleash Web to fight HIV in Africa


internet and healthIRVINE, Calif., Nov. 6 (UPI) -- The Internet is already a source of information about AIDS for children in Africa but could be more powerful if it were free, a U.S. study says.

About one-third of adolescents in the east-African nation of Uganda reported using the Internet as a source of health information in a study published in the journal PLoS Medicine.

That rate is similar to the rate in the United States, according to researchers at the California-based Internet Solutions for Kids Inc.

However, an additional third of Ugandan adolescents studied said they could use the Internet for health information if it were available without charge.

Arab religious leaders in Egypt to combat HIV/AIDS


AIDS ribbonCAIRO (AFP) - Over 300 religious leaders from 20 Arab countries have gathered in Cairo to discuss means of raising awareness in their communities of the spread of the HIV/AIDS.

"It is time to stop what happens in some Arab countries like expelling (HIV positive persons) from their community," Arab League Assistant Secretary General Nancy Bakir said at the opening of the three-day forum.

It is time to get rid of the fictitious ideas of AIDS and its spread," she said Monday.

Partcipants explained that taboo which long surrounded the sexually-transmitted disease in the region had hampered early efforts to tackle the epidemic.

Customers seek ways to avoid HIV

tatoo salonTattoos, once the sole domain of inmates, soldiers and sailors, have become a popular and accepted body art form.

Celebrities who openly sport them are credited with spreading the trend, and more women than ever are getting tattoos.

But the fad has some experts and health professionals concerned that people must seek out only licensed tattoo artists and facilities to avoid infections and injuries that can be spread by unskilled operators who use dirty needles and work in unsanitary conditions.

"The problems arise from roadside tattoo artists that operate in bars or out of their homes or customers' homes," said William Wolff, public facilities program manager for the El Paso City-County Health and Environmental District.

UNICEF launches HIV prevention computer game

UNICEFThe United Nations Children's Education Fund (UNICEF) has released an online game to help Kiswahili-speaking youths to know more about HIV prevention and the need for voluntary testing.

The move seeks to reach East African adolescents and young people in the battle against Aids. This is UNICEF's first interactive feature in Kiswahili that empowers the young to make good life choices.

The game, called 'ungefanyaje' or 'what would you do?' in Kiswahili, takes the player through a series of relationship-based scenarios that emphasize the importance of HIV prevention and testing.

southeast asiaSoutheast Asia's HIV prevention program has become ineffective because of a lack of political commitment in addressing the epidemic across the region, Thierry Mertens, special adviser to the WHO Regional Office for Southeast Asia, said Tuesday at a regional meeting, the Bangkok Post reports.

Mertens said poor health care services and inadequate human resources also are hindering efforts to control the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases, including tuberculosis and hepatitis C, in the region. In addition, Mertens said that Southeast Asian countries are at high risk of an HIV/AIDS epidemic in part because of a lack of education about condom use and the high prevalence of sexually transmitted infections in the region.

"The Southeast Asia region is not an exception to the documented global low coverage in prevention services," Mertens said, adding, "Despite effective interventions such as condom use, the coverage of these prevention interventions across the region has been poor."A 2005 WHO report found that there are about 6.7 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the Southeast Asian region. This year's figures will be released on World Aids Day on Dec. 1, the Post reports (Bangkok Post, 11/1).


HIV email a hoax

emailAn email in circulation warning of HIV-infected needles in public places was a hoax, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS) said today.


The email, which said infected needles had been found in a cinema seat and at an ATM, was sent illegally using a staff member's name and email address, spokeswoman Dr Philippa Hetzel said.

"This email is not from the blood service," she said.

"We have no knowledge of the alleged incidents described in the email occurring anywhere in Australia."


Thousands of London children to learn about HIV and Aids


HIV virusThousands of schoolchildren across London are set to learn about HIV and Aids following the launch of a major new charity-funded education kit today.

Leading Aids charity, Crusaid, has developed the new media kit to complement the GCSE English curriculum and will distribute it to 1,500 schools across London following today's launch at the British Council.

Crusaid has funded the pilot project and distribution to London schools with a view to encouraging the Government to provide funding for national distribution.

The "Aware!" media kit will be sent out to the schools during 2007 following a successful pilot project in eight schools during the 2005/06 school year.

Dirty needles bigger HIV threat than unsafe sex


dirty syringeA study by Britain's Royal Society of Medicine found that pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa are more likely to get HIV/AIDS from a tetanus shot with a dirty needle than from unsafe sex, reopening a debate over the best way to combat the spread of the disease.

The study, published in the November issue of the society's International Journal of STD & AIDS, found that pregnant women who received the neonatal tetanus-toxoid shot as a preventative measure were almost twice as likely to subsequently test positive for HIV as those who did not receive the injection.

Injections and other such puncture treatments -- frequently conducted with reused or improperly sterilized needles -- are the main cause of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa, not heterosexual sex with multiple partners, the studies authors reported.

About this Archive

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

HIV/AIDS Awareness: October 2006 is the previous archive.

HIV/AIDS Awareness: December 2006 is the next archive.

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