Japan To Provide People Affected By HIV/AIDS With Psychological Support

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Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfareplans to assign counselors to certain hospitals nationwide to providepeople living with HIV/AIDS and their families with psychologicalsupport, ministry officials announced Friday, Kyodo News/Japan Todayreports. The core hospitals are being established specifically toprovide HIV/AIDS treatment services, and they eventually will coverevery prefecture in the country (Kyodo News/Japan Today, 8/24).

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Thenumber of people newly diagnosed with HIV and those who developed AIDSin Japan in 2006 reached record highs of 914 and 390, respectively,according to data released by the Japanese AIDS Surveillance Committee.In addition, the report found that the number of people in Japanreceiving no-cost HIV tests increased by 16.2% in 2006, suggesting thatHIV/AIDS awareness in the country is increasing (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/9).

Althoughthe number of people living with HIV in Japan is increasing,disparities still exist between regions and facilities in the countrythat offer counseling for people affected by the virus, according to Kyodo News/Japan Today.The health ministry aims to narrow such disparities by assigning atleast one counselor to every core hospital, the officials said, addingthat counselors greatly contribute to HIV/AIDS treatment. The ministryplans to request 90 million yen, or about $776,000, for labor andtraining expenses for the fiscal year 2008 budget, which begins April1, according to officials. About 380 local hospitals are designatednationwide to provide HIV/AIDS treatment, and the core hospitals ineach prefecture are expected to support the medical practices andtraining sessions of local hospitals, the officials said (Kyodo News/ Japan Today, 8/24).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyHIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . TheKaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service ofThe Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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