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HIV AIDS

Gene In HIV Makes HIV-2 Susceptible To Immune System Response

A team of researchers from Oxford University and the U.K. Medical Research Council unit in Gambia have discovered that a gene in HIV, known as the gag gene, makes HIV-2 more susceptible to an immune system response, ANI/DailyIndia.com reports. According to ANI/DailyIndia.com, HIV-2 progresses to AIDS in only 20% of people who test positive for the specific virus strain, compared with 98% of people who test positive for HIV-1 and do not take antiretroviral drugs.

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HIV Testing Policy For Pregnant Women Could Cause Human Rights Issues

Although it is good news that Botswana has reduced its mother-to-child HIV transmission rate to less than 4%, the country's "system of testing a pregnant woman for HIV unless she objects can be problematic from a human rights standpoint," Pat Daoust, director of Physicians for Human Rights' Health Action AIDS Campaign, writes in a Boston Globe letter to the editor in response to a recent Globe article.

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Groups Launch Initiative To Fight HIV/AIDS In Kenya

The East African Community, the Lake Victoria Basin Commission and the African Medical and Research Foundation on Tuesday in Kisumu, Kenya, launched a joint initiative to fight HIV/AIDS among populations located along the Lake Victoria basin, the East African Standard reports.

The initiative plans to work with community organizations, fishing associations, the Inter-University Council of East Africa and EAC member countries' ministries of health.

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Namibia To Increase HIV/AIDS Treatment Access, Address Poverty, Cultural Practices

The Women's Leadership Centre -- an organization that focuses on HIV/AIDS, women's rights and culture -- recently called on the Namibian government to make HIV/AIDS treatment available at all health clinics in the country and to educate the public about the government's HIV treatment program, the Namibian/AllAfrica.com reports. The group also said the government should begin a national HIV/AIDS food-relief program for low-income people taking antiretroviral drugs.

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Saudi Arabia To Require Mandatory HIV Testing For Couples Before Marriage

Saudi Arabia starting next year plans to require couples wishing to be married to be screened for HIV, Khaled al-Zahrani, the Ministry of Health's assistant undersecretary for preventive medicine, said on Wednesday, AFP/Yahoo! News reports.

Couples will be required to receive tests for both HIV and hepatitis at one of more than 20 centers to be established nationwide, according to al-Zahrani.

If either partner tests HIV-positive and the couple still wishes to marry, the case will be considered in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice, al-Zahrani said.

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