Spanish Health Ministry To Determine Number Of HIV Cases By 2015

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The Spanish Ministry of Healthrecently announced a new plan to determine the number of people livingwith HIV in the country and reduce the spread of the virus by 2015, El Pais reports.The plan replaces an earlier one that expired in 2005 and was notrenewed, reflecting what some nongovernmental organizations say is thegovernment's lack of dedication to addressing HIV/AIDS.

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Some HIV/AIDS advocacy groups say the new plan does little to address the disease in the country. Cesida,the largest confederation of NGOs involved in fighting HIV/AIDS inSpain, said the new plan "cannot be considered a plan of action." SomeNGOs are complaining that the plan's goals are vaguely worded and thatthe time frame is too long. NGOs also have said that the plan placestoo much emphasis on those who are already HIV-positive, rather than onthe general public, to combat the spread of the virus. In addition,some NGOs have said that the plan singles out high-risk groups, such asinjection drug users and commercial sex workers, and does not mentionspecifically heterosexual men, who are the primary transmitters of thevirus in the country, El Pais reports.

The planalso will establish a national database of HIV-positive people.Although NGOs support the health ministry's efforts to determine thenumber of people in Spain living with HIV, they are opposed to thenational database and are concerned it could become public knowledgeand lead to discrimination against people living with the virus, El Pais reports (Benito, El Pais, 9/12).

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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