Health officials in Toronto are attempting to address an increase in the number of reported sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, in the city, the National Post reports. STI figures through September from Toronto Public Health show that 405 HIV cases, 5,480 chlamydia cases, 1,293 gonorrhea cases and more than 200 new cases of infectious syphilis have been diagnosed.
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Young travelers in Australia who engage in binge drinking and unsafe sexual activity are contributing to increasing rates of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, according to specialists, the Herald Sun reports (McLean, Herald Sun, 11/19).
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the rise in STIs has prompted the New South Wales' Department of Health, four Sydney councils and the NSW Backpackers Operators Association to target the group with no-cost condoms and safer-sex messages over the summer holiday period (Wallace, Sydney Morning Herald, 11/19).
People living with HIV/AIDS in China continue to experience discrimination based on public misconceptions of the disease, Bernhard Schwartlander, UNAIDS China country coordinator, said on Tuesday, Xinhuanet reports. Commenting on the results of a survey about HIV/AIDS-related knowledge and behavior among the Chinese -- which indicated that misconceptions and discrimination remain high despite years of public education efforts -- Schwartlander said that many people are unwilling to live with an HIV-positive person, or have meals or work with an individual living with the virus.
Physicians in the U.S. are reporting a higher risk for certain types of cancers -- such as liver, head, neck and lung -- in people living with HIV/AIDS, raising concerns that a cancer epidemic is imminent in the population, the Baltimore Sun reports.
HIV-positive people receiving treatment for the virus might be at an increased risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes because some antiretroviral drugs can cause fat on the arms, legs, face and buttocks to move to the stomach, researchers at Australia's Garvan Institute said Monday, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. According to the Herald, excess weight around the waist can increase a person's chances of developing cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, but physicians say newer classes of drugs, which do not cause fat redistribution, are too expensive for most people.
Gannett/Desert Sun on Monday examined Merck's antiretroviral drug Isentress, which was approved by FDA last year. According to Gannett/Desert Sun, since FDA approved the drug, some HIV-positive people and "medical experts say it appears to work, improving the condition of some HIV patients and sparking hope that drugmakers may develop similar medications."
Eighteen Tanzanian media houses on Sunday launched HIV/AIDS workplace policies in response to news from the Tanzania Health Index Survey that the country could lose 9% of its most economically productive population to the disease by 2020, the Tanzania Daily News reports. According to Fatima Mrisho, chair of the Tanzania Commission for AIDS, the policies will focus on prevention, treatment, care, support, and the reduction of stigma and discrimination.
The Rwandan government is increasing efforts to provide HIV/AIDS testing and treatment to children who are living with or vulnerable to the disease in the country, Health Minister Richard Sezibera said recently, Rwanda's New Times reports. Sezibera said that more children living with HIV now have access to antiretroviral drugs and that 12% of young people received HIV tests in 2006, an increase from less than 1% in 2000.
The government of Togo on Monday announced that it has begun distributing no-cost antiretroviral drugs through the network of the Central Supply of Essential and Generic Medicines, Reuters reports.
Augustin Dokla, who represents a network of people living with HIV/AIDS, said that approximately 25,000 people will receive antiretrovirals through the program, up from 8,000 who currently have access to the drugs through CAMEG.
The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday examined how China is increasingly promoting condoms as a method of HIV prevention. While HIV "has long thrived quietly on the fringes of Chinese society" among injection drug users and tainted blood recipients, there is now a risk of HIV spreading further into the general population. One reason is the "booming " sex work industry in China which "has helped make sex the most common form of" HIV transmission in the country, according to the Journal. This has given rise to increased promotion of condom use to prevent HIV from spreading.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Cambodia last week launched the first phase of a program that aims to test 10,000 people in the country for HIV, the Phnom Penh Post reports. The campaign is part of an AHF program to test one million people worldwide for HIV by World AIDS Day on Dec. 1. Mam Sophal, president of the HIV/AIDS program at the Municipal Health Department in the capital of Phnom Penh, said that 579 people have been tested so far.
Call it the bullet train of enzymes. Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers have found that HIV reverse transcriptase exhibits a stunning display of enzymatic dynamics as it zooms back and forth on the very DNA it is building. Each of the DNA's two strands serves as a rail, with reverse transcriptase - an enzyme crucial to HIV's replication and survival - racing to the end of the rails so it can continue to extend them.
The 128 new HIV/AIDS cases recorded between the beginning of 2008 and the end of October in the Czech Republic have broken a record for the highest number of new cases registered in the country, Jana Vandasova of the National Reference Laboratory for AIDS said on Thursday, the CTK/Prague Daily Monitor reports.
According to Vandasova, there were 122 new cases registered last year, and the National Reference Laboratory for AIDS said this year represents the largest growth in HIV/AIDS cases since the mid-1980s, when the country began testing for the virus.
Several newspapers recently profiled the case of an HIV-positive person who underwent a bone marrow transplant to treat leukemia and who has had undetectable HIV viral loads for almost two years. For the procedure -- performed by German hematologist Gero Hutter of Berlin's Charite Medical University on a 42-year-old American living in the city -- the patient's bone marrow cells were replaced with those from a donor with a naturally occurring gene mutation that provides immunity to almost all strains of HIV by preventing the CCR5 molecule from appearing on the surface of cells.
Chile's new health minister, Alvaro Erazo, on Thursday said that at least 512 people nationwide have not been informed by the public health system that they tested HIV-positive and that an additional 1,364 people have not been told by private sector services that they carry the virus, the New York Times reports. Erazo -- who was providing lawmakers with a report on the situation -- said that in about half of the cases, there was no evidence that health care workers had attempted to contact people who had tested HIV-positive.
Millions of migrant workers in Southeast Asia are vulnerable to HIV because they do not have access to health services and legal or social protection, according to a report released Thursday by the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, AFP/Yahoo! Singapore News reports. According to the report, more than 1.5 million people are living with HIV in Southeast Asia, most of whom are of working age. In addition, the report found that HIV/AIDS risk behaviors are higher among migrants compared with the general population.
In October, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), Division of Health, Wellness and Disease Control, Health Disparities Reduction and Minority Health Section (HDRMH) held its first statewide Health Disparities Conference. In doing so, MDCH moved closer to identifying solutions and prevention strategies to bridge the health gap in Michigan. HDRMH is working to develop effective programs, partnerships, and policies impact to health disparities.
People living with HIV/AIDS in Burundi often face the additional challenge of fighting the disease without proper nutrition because of a widespread food shortage in the country, IRIN/PlusNews reports.
Malawi plans to expand its national HIV testing campaign to include the country's prison system following several reports that more HIV-positive inmates are dying compared with HIV-negative inmates, the Nyasa Times reports.
The announcement was made by Mary Shawa, principal secretary for nutrition and HIV/AIDS in the Office of the President and Cabinet, who also said that district health centers and prisons have been linked so that HIV/AIDS treatment can be accessed by inmates who test positive for the virus.
Approximately 30% of Pakistan's injection drug users are living with HIV/AIDS, Arshad Altaf -- senior provincial surveillance support officer with an HIV/AIDS surveillance program called the Sindh AIDS Control Program that is managed jointly by Canada and Pakistan -- said on Wednesday at the International Symposium on Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Pakistan's Daily Times reports. According to the Times, 7.5% of IDUs living with HIV/AIDS in Pakistan are male commercial sex workers and 3% are transgender sex workers.
Millions of HIV-positive people in the world's poorest countries, particularly in Africa and Asia, will die if donors worldwide downsize funding because of the global financial crisis, UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot said on Wednesday, Reuters reports. "If we interrupt (funding) even for six months or a year, it will result in millions of deaths," Piot said, adding, "If we interrupt these activities, we will have to pay later as more people will become infected."
In what could be a major medical breakthrough, or a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, a 42-year-old American man was cured of AIDS after receiving a bone marrow transplant in Berlin, Germany two years ago. The transplant was performed as part of a treatment for his leukemia.
The Angolan government will carry out an HIV awareness campaign and provide no-cost HIV testing and treatment in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus in the country, which has been largely unaffected by the disease because of a 27-year civil war that prevented travel in and out of the country, Reuters reports.
A recent government report -- titled Social Protection and Ageing in Malawi and conducted by Zifa Kazeze, formerly of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa -- says that Malawi's elderly population is seeing less care and support from their children and communities as the impact of HIV/AIDS and a weakening economy changes family structures in the country, IRIN News reports. The government plans to release social grants to address this growing burden on the elderly population.
HIV prevention efforts in Namibia should "put more emphasis" on changing behavior and reducing HIV-associated stigma and discrimination, Namibian Health Minister Richard Kamwi said recently at a one-day meeting on the National HIV/AIDS Prevention Strategy in the Namibian capital of Windhoek, The Namibian/AllAfrica.com reports.
The New York Times recently examined HIV/AIDS among U.S. residents older than age 50. HIV-positive people are living longer as the virus has become more manageable; however, HIV is "more aggressive" in older people because the immune system begins to deteriorate naturally as people age, according to the Times.
Researchers at the University of Toronto and the University of California, San Francisco, have revealed new hope for HIV treatment with the discovery of a way to 'rescue' immune cells that are exhausted from fighting off HIV infection.
Hispanics in Los Angeles County are waiting about twice as long to seek HIV testing and treatment as whites, leading to increased HIV prevalence among Hispanics, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports. According to the Tribune, 60% of HIV cases among Hispanics in the county are detected "very late," compared with 33% among whites.
"Six months is a long time to wait if you're fighting a disease like HIV/AIDS or if you are an agency that works to help those patients," a New Orleans Times-Picayune editorial says in response to the recent announcement that the distribution of $7 million in Ryan White Program funding to city HIV/AIDS agencies has been delayed by six months (New Orleans Times-Picayune, 11/10). Fran Lawless, director of Mayor Ray Nagin's Office of Health Care Policy, made the announcement at a city council meeting on Oct. 30.
The New York Times on Sunday examined the impact of last month's announcement that as many as 50 students from Normandy High School in Missouri might have been exposed to HIV. Officials at the St. Louis' high school sent a letter to the parents and guardians of its students on Oct. 13, which said while the St. Louis County Department of Health was investigating an HIV case, it had reason to believe that some students at the school might have been exposed to HIV.