Monday, December 1, 2008

In the news: World AIDS Day

Talk about the holiday season! No but seriously, go get checked out, for fun even:

*AIDS remains the world's No. 1 health threat and in the United States is a grave risk to black people in particular. As Phill Wilson, executive director of the Black AIDS Institute, put it, "AIDS in America is a black disease . . . about half of the just over 1 million Americans living with HIV or AIDS are black." [washpost]

*Health authorities and the U.N. AIDS agency pledged Sunday to combat the stigmatization of people with the disease by unveiling a massive red ribbon, the symbol of AIDS awareness, at the Olympic Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing.
"Stigma and discrimination are major obstacles in an effective response to AIDS. We need to engage all sectors of society in China to combat these issues and work together to stop the disease," said Minister of Health Chen Zhu, according to a UNAIDS statement. [ap]

*A worldwide drive to test one million people for HIV in the week ahead of World AIDS Day on Monday has been highly successful, a U.S. AIDS group said.
"Our One Million Tests campaign has been met with a wildly enthusiastic response in all corners of the world," said Terri Ford, director of global advocacy for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. []

*From the mouth of yr preznint bush: "I'm pleased to announce that we have exceeded that goal early," Bush said standing with first lady Laura Bush on the North Lawn of the White House decorated with a giant red ribbon to mark the occasion. "The American people through PEPFAR are supporting lifesaving treatment for more than 2 million people around the world." [usa today]

*The analysts developed a mathematical model to predict what would happen if most adults and adolescents were tested every year for the virus that causes AIDS and those who tested positive were immediately treated with antiretroviral drugs instead of waiting until their immune systems were depressed, as is now policy. ... The results, described last week in The Lancet, a British medical journal, were remarkable. Transmission of the virus from infected individuals to others could be driven so low as to be nearly eliminated within a decade, largely because the drugs would drastically reduce the amount of virus in their blood and genital secretions. [nyt]

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