HIV/AIDS Awareness: December 2006 Archives

Vietnam makes AIDS policy change

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vietnamA stocky woman in blue jeans with spiky, gelled black hair dances on stage at one of Vietnam's rural rehabilitation centres, leading a hip-hop style chant.

"Hold hands together, we'll stop AIDS together," shouted the former heroin addict patient who returned to the rehabilitation centre to encourage over a thousand recovering drug users and prostitute inmates, a third of whom have HIV or AIDS.

People face stigma and discrimination when they leave the minimum security centres, especially if they are infected with HIV or have AIDS. HIV-infected people are often refused employment and their children denied schooling.

"Everybody should unite in combating this disease," said Danh Thu Hanh, 36, a former addict who spent two years as an inmate.

Bono to be Honoured by Queen for AIDS, Poverty Work

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BonoThe British Embassy in Dublin has announced that U2 frontman Bono is being awarded an honorary knighthood by the Queen.

The singer, whose real name is Paul Hewson, has been given the honour for "his services to the music industry and for his humanitarian work," it said.

Prime Minister Tony Blair congratulated him, telling the singer in a letter: "You have tirelessly used your voice to speak up for Africa."

Bono will receive the honour in Dublin early in the new year, and British ambassador David Reddaway will conduct the ceremony.

25 years later, misconceptions persist about HIV/AIDS

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AIDSCHATTANOOGA, Tenn. In the 25 years since the U-S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified AIDS, misconceptions still surround the disease in Tennessee.

Many people still associate H-I-V and AIDS with gay white men, but in Hamilton County last year, 51 percent of all reported cases of H-I-V were blacks.

Increasingly, AIDS sufferers also include Hispanics, women and children.Meantime, misconceptions persist about how someone can become infected with H-I-V.

Some youngsters still think you can get H-I-V from mosquitoes or from sitting on a toilet seat.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press

'Social vaccine' is new mantra to fight AIDS

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AIDS worldwidePatna, Dec 16 (IANS) In the absence of vaccine against HIV/AIDS, the 'social vaccine' of mass awareness needs to be strengthened to prevent spread of the deadly virus, a top UN official here said Saturday.

"Social vaccine is the main weapon to fight against the HIV/AIDS," said Peter Piot, executive director of United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

"By social vaccine I mean to create a mass awareness to educate the people about the killer disease and on how to prevent it" said Piot, who was member of a delegation on a daylong visit to Bihar along with Suma Chakrabarti, permanent Secretary, Department for International Development (DFID) of Britain.

AIDS: Holes in the Campaign

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AIDSNIGERIA - "AIDS is real, Avoid casual sex," "Abstinence is the best protection against AIDS," "Avoiding AIDS, as easy as... (ABC) Abstain, Be faithful (to your partner) Condom use," "A Hug gives comfort, not HIV/AIDS, Show love and care to people living with HIV/AIDS," "Stop AIDS, Keep the Promise,"... and so the campaign against the spread of the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) on bill boards the world over seem innumerable.

Bill boards are not the only media used to mount the campaign against the spread of the pandemic. News reports, jingles and programmes are aired and televised in the broadcast, and news reports, features, opinions, editorials and advertisements published in the print media against its spread, have permeated the surface of the globe. All these are apart from public awareness rallies.

The campaigns increase and rage broader by the day, seemingly at the same speed with the reported spread of the pandemic, at some instances, seeming at a higher speed, to remoter human settlements, especially in African and Asian countries, most especially in those reportedly having the highest prevalence rate.

Deadline extended for best HIV/AIDS broadcast award

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AIDSThe deadline for the “World Awards for Best TV and Radio Programs on HIV and AIDS” has been extended from December 1, 2006, to January 15, 2007 to allow reports broadcast on World Aids Day to be submitted.            

The awards are being sponsored by the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) with UNAIDS and will be presented during its “HIV and AIDS Global Media Strategies” conference in May 2007.

Freelancers and producers from broadcasting organizations with reports that were broadcast between December 1, 2004, and December 1, 2006, are invited to apply.

CDCThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes the faith community’s influence on knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors about health. Since 1996, CDC has provided resources to faith-based organizations and worked to make them part of HIV prevention efforts. Faith-based organizations have conducted many HIV prevention activities. These activities include capacity-building assistance and training programs for faith leaders whose communities have high rates of HIV/AIDS.

CDC held a two-day meeting on “Faith and HIV Prevention” on February 13-14, 2006 in Atlanta, GA. The meeting was held to expand and strengthen CDC’s partnerships with faith communities. People who attended the meeting included faith leaders, people who provide HIV services, and public health workers. They discussed the role of faith-based organizations in helping prevent HIV/AIDS. There were 48 people at the meeting, including 29 leaders from many faiths, including Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Hebrew-Israelite, Muslim, and Buddhism.

KenyaThe Vice President of Kenya, Dr Moody Awori, has urged the nationwide adoption of a home-based care model co-developed with the UK Christian HIV and AIDS charity Mildmay Mission Hospital.

The appeal follows years of close partnership between Mildmay and the Kenyan Ministry of Health which worked together to form the Nyanza Model of Home-Based Care for HIV and AIDS sufferers in Kenya.

The Nyanza Model’s success has now convinced the government that the whole country – which has a total of 1.3 million HIV and AIDS sufferers - would benefit from adopting this ‘best practice’ model.
viagraLOS ANGELES, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the nation's largest provider of HIV/AIDS healthcare, education and prevention and direct provider of HIV/AIDS medical care to tens of thousands of AIDS patients in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and Asia, launches a print advertising campaign this week calling on Pfizer, Inc., the world's largest pharmaceutical company, to end its marketing of its erectile dysfunction drug, Viagra, as a sexual enhancement drug, thereby encouraging its recreational use and fueling the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

The first wave of the Viagra + Meth = Rx for HIV Infection ad campaign begins in New York and Los Angeles this week with full-page ads in The Village Voice, The New York Blade and LA Weekly, with an ad appearing next week in L.A.'s Frontiers Magazine. The ads alert the public to the dangers of combining Viagra with crystal methamphetamines (an illegal drug, also know as crystal meth) and urges the pharmaceutical giant "to exercise responsibility by discontinuing marketing to men with mild erectile dysfunction, and by initiating an educational campaign on the dangers of Viagra and crystal meth, targeting men who have sex with men."

On the Job With HIV

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Jennifer Munthali (courtesy of the Washington post)As usual, The Washington Post has another brilliant article. this time it is about HIV, and how many employers still lack policies on AIDS prevention and care.

Two weeks after she started to work at Catholic Relief Services in 2004, Jennifer Munthali decided to tell her boss that she was HIV positive.

"I barely knew my supervisor," said Munthali, who was the program manager for AIDS relief in Zambia. "It was indeed a scary time. Even though I was at a higher management level, I was afraid I was going to lose my job."

UN's envoy hails Malawi for wider rollout of free AIDS drugs

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MalawiJames Morris, the United Nations special envoy for southern Africa, hailed Malawi for expanding the rollout of anti-retroviral drugs to reach 70,000 AIDS sufferers by the end of this year.

"This is a dramatic increase of 70,000 from 8,000 two years ago... lives have been saved and it's possible to be productive citizens again," Morris, on the second leg of a five-nation visit, told reporters here.

Morris arrived here from Zambia for a two-day visit, the last to the region of his tenure, and will meet government officials, donor representatives, UN agencies and non-governmental organisations.

Bangladesh gets U.N. award for AIDS prevention

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BangladaeshA Bangladeshi women's group was awarded a cash prize of $20,000 on Monday for its work in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) said.

The "Durjoy Nari Shongo" (indomitable women's council) shared the UNDP's "Red Ribbon" 2006 award with four other groups in Ukraine, Thailand, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The Bangladeshi group distributes condoms, gives information about AIDS to sex workers and provides for the education of their children.

African minister ends decade of denial on Aids

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HIV in AfricaFor two years she laboured in the shadow of her boss, South Africa's notorious health minister, who declared garlic, lemon and beetroot a suitable treatment for the country's victims of Aids.

Now Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, a plain-speaking 55-year-old Quaker, is being feted as a heroine by health campaigners, Aids sufferers and much of South Africa's media, for daring to end a decade of denial on the disease by the ruling African National Congress.

In the space of a few weeks the deputy health minister has helped turn government policy on its head.

AIDS Activist Describes Living With HIV

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Rami Al Harithi.jpgRIYADH, 6 December 2006 — The pale young man suddenly got up from his chair, walked to the stage, and began his presentation.

“I stand before you today as perhaps the longest living person infected with AIDS in Saudi Arabia,” said the 30-year-old Makkawi at an AIDS symposium organized yesterday by the National Society for Human Rights at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center here.

“My name is Rami ibn Faisal Al-Harithi Al-Shareef. I was infected with HIV when I was six years old when my mom took me to get circumcised,” he said.

World AIDS Day, worth thinking about

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aids awarenessby Iris Phillips, 100 mile Free Press, Canada

Dec. 1, was World AIDS Day but somehow I missed hearing about it or if I did I just didn’t pay attention.

I did spend a bit of time tracking the happenings of the Liberal Leadership Convention. Somehow it’s like watching the history of our country unfold right before our eyes. Fascinating stuff.

So somehow World AIDS Day just passed me by.

And to be honest, does it really matter?

You never hear much about AIDS anymore. It seems like the big scare of an AIDS pandemic never materialized. Isn’t there treatment now anyways?

Local Man Raises AIDS Awareness

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Timothy GistoverThe CDC estimates that 100 Americans are diagnosed with HIV or AIDS every day, despite awareness and education efforts centered on preventing the incurable disease. The sad part is that many people that have HIV have no idea, and infect someone else inadvertently.

The Meharry Center for AIDS Research in Nashville estimated that in 2004, more than 4,000 people in the mid-state were living with HIV or AIDS; nearly three times that number in all of Tennessee were infected.

The common belief is that gay men are most at risk, but that conception is rapidly changing. More and more minority heterosexuals are contracting the disease. In Davidson County alone, health officials report about 25-30 new cases of HIV every month. African-American, heterosexual women are contracting the virus at the fastest rate. Wednesday, AIDS activists joined forces to spread the word to get tested. One local man living with the virus has made that his mission too.

Clinton urges end to HIV/AIDS stigma in Vietnam

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Clinton in Asia (courtesy Reuters) HANOI (Reuters) - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton urged young Vietnamese on Wednesday to talk more about HIV and AIDS to reduce fear and ignorance of the disease and discourage discrimination.

"The more you talk about it and the more people see flesh and blood human beings who are HIV positive who are good people and not frightening," Clinton said during a one-day visit with his New York-based Clinton Foundation for HIV/AIDS.

Vietnam, which has an estimated 280,000 HIV infections out of a population of 84 million people, is fighting to stop the spread of the epidemic to the general population from high-risk groups such as injecting drug users and prostitutes.

Best HIV prevention programs build skills: review

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HIV prevention programsIt takes more than just passing along good information to stop the spread of HIV, a new US-government-backed study on HIV/AIDS prevention programs has found.

It takes "enhanced education, where you actually build their skills and don't just give them information," said lead author Cynthia Lyles of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta in a statement.

To help arm local health agencies with the most effective HIV prevention programs, Lyles and colleagues examined 100 HIV behavioral intervention programs developed and tested between 2000 and 2004. Their findings appear in January's American Journal of Public Health.

AIDS - dismissing the stigma

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HIV/AIDSIt has been a long-held misconception that Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) claims the lives of its victim quickly and only affects gay men, African people and drug users.

However, of the 2,913 patients treated for the infection in the East of England in 2005, 78 per cent were heterosexual non-drug users.

In the Harlow district, there are 65 patients receiving treatment.

And with the help of modern-day treatments, the majority of patients are living relatively normal lives.

Advocates urge prisons to take steps against AIDS

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HIV cases in WVa prisons (courtesy Daily Mail)Cases of West Virginia inmates with HIV and AIDS have dwindled in recent years, but prevention advocates are still urging prisons to distribute condoms to their inmates.

Condoms are banned or unavailable in 95 percent of the country's prisons, including those in West Virginia. A recent report from the National Minority AIDS Council says offering condoms to inmates can cut the risk of spreading the deadly virus.

Joe Thornton, deputy cabinet secretary for the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, said there have been no serious discussions about distributing condoms in prisons lately and that the state would likely oppose such an initiative.

Magic johnsonAbbott and the Magic Johnson Foundation today announced the national launch of the "I Stand with Magic: Campaign to End Black AIDS" with a goal to help reduce new HIV infections in the African-American community by 50 percent over five years. Half of all new HIV infections in the United States are among African-Americans who represent only 15 percent of the overall population in the United States. The "I Stand With Magic" program addresses awareness, prevention and successful treatment of HIV in the African-American and other minority communities.

Starting today, World AIDS Day, community members will be encouraged to enroll at www.istandwithmagic.com, get tested for HIV and "stand" with Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Abbott in their fight against the HIV epidemic in the African-American community.
PEPFARThe Center for Public Integrity (http://www.publicintegrity.org/default.aspx) today released "Divine Intervention," (http://www.publicintegrity.org/aids) a year-long investigation into how President Bush's $15 billion initiative for care, treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS abroad has failed countries struggling with the pandemic.

The special report, the first of its kind to examine the policies, politics and goals of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), looks at its effects on specific "focus countries," as well as India and Thailand, where the sex-trade industry is driving high rates of infection. Reporters affiliated with the Center's International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (http://www.publicintegrity.org/icij) in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, Haiti, India and Thailand found that faith-based ideology -- including abstinence -- often trumps science in the guise of federal rules, regulations and support of the organizations receiving taxpayer money.

EU stresses young women, prevention in AIDS fight

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EUAt a seminar marking World AIDS Day in Helsinki, the Finnish EU presidency urged an improvement in the status of young women and prevention in tackling the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

"Young women have a manifold risk of contracting HIV compared to men of the same age. The virus spreads mainly though heterosexual transmission," according to Finnish Foreign Trade and Development Minister Paula Lehtomaeki, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

"The epidemic can be curbed only by assuring girl's and women's access to sexual and reproductive health and rights without pressure, compulsion or violence," Lehtomaeki told the seminar.

How employers can help battle Aids

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south africaBusinesses, and consequently South Africa’s economy, lose big money each year to HIV/Aids. A study commissioned by AIC Insurance last year showed that South Africa lost about R12-billion a year because of workplace absenteeism, of which between R1,8-billion and R2,2-billion could be attributed to HIV/Aids.

And it is also worrying that according to the Actuarial Society of South Africa, close to one in five South Africans between the ages of 20 and 64 are infected with HIV -- a large part of South Africa’s workforce.

Thus, for many companies, looking after their HIV-positive employees has become a necessity. HIV/Aids has become the new brain drain.

But, large corporations with the financial resources to implement HIV/Aids workplace programmes are making inroads into addressing the problem in their sectors.

MIDDLE EAST: Ignorance still rife about HIV/AIDS

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middle eastDUBAI, 1 December (IRIN) - Specialists dealing with HIV/AIDS in the Middle East have said their work has been hampered by the lack of reliable statistics. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), for example, there is a paucity of information and statistics about the numbers of people living with HIV/AIDS.

"There is nothing available except that for adults aged 15-49, the HIV prevalence rate is 0.2 percent," said Souad Orhan, documentation officer for the United Nations AIDS office in Cairo.

HIV infection rates in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have risen by 12 percent, according to the 2006 AIDS Epidemic Update released by UNAIDS. According to UNAIDS statistics, in the MENA region alone, there are 460,000 adults and children living with HIV/AIDS compared with 400,000 in 2004.

HIV survivors ready to talk

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aidsWhen Linda learned that she and her newborn daughter were HIV-positive, the shocked Oakland woman went on a five-year drug and alcohol binge.

"I thought I was going to die soon and my baby was going to die -- I'd given her a death sentence," Linda said. "I felt worthless."

But she didn't die. Linda, 37, who asked that her last name be withheld, ultimately sought help for her addiction to crack cocaine and got HIV counseling. Now drug-free, she's seen her daughter grow into a confident 17-year-old. Both say many people remain woefully ignorant about what the federal Centers for Disease Control calls "an epidemic in the African American community."

About this Archive

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

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

HIV/AIDS Awareness: January 2007 is the next archive.

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