Recent Media - HIV/AIDS out East
A more interesting title for this blog entry would be, "Drugs, Sex, and Oriental Soap Operas".
While this site is focused primarily on Swaziland (esp. HIV in Swaziland), I do sometimes venture elsewhere. I have recently written posts on India, Mozambique, for example.
As a kick-off to my latest world tour of HIV news stories, I have reviewed May’s leading “HIV in Asia” headlines and put together the following list of articles, each with a very short summary.
(I especially like the penultimate one, and the pre-penultimate NEJM article on China is also a good one to browse.)
Half of Chinese refuse to work with HIV/AIDS carriers: report (May 14)
52 percent of survey respondents said they would not work with an HIV/AIDS carrier, while 49 percent said the same of Hepatitis B carriers. More than 55 percent of the repondents said they would not hire carriers of either disease.
Sex education creates storm in AIDS-stricken India (May 14)
Moves to bring sex out of the closet in largely conservative India have kicked up a morality debate between educators who say sex education will reduce HIV rates and critics who fear it will corrupt young minds.
Asian drug users need more HIV prevention help (May 14)
An editorial arguing that Asian countries need to wake up to the threat of HIV transmission via intravenous drug use and spend more money on needle exchanges and other programs or risk a rapid rise in new cases.
Managing Substance Abuse And HIV In Malaysia (May 14)
In Malaysia, more than 30,000 opiate-dependent patients are currently treated with such medications as naltrexone, buprenorphine, and methadone. Despite the high prevalence of HIV and other infectious diseases among addicted people, few HIV prevention efforts have targeted Malaysian drug abusers, who represent only a minority of patients receiving antiretroviral therapy.
First HIV/AIDS Diagnostic Center Opens In Northern Afghanistan (May 14)
The Center began operations today. A mere 71 HIV cases have been reported in the entire country, but health officials soberly report that the numbe could top 2,000. Refugee populations and a lack of proper testing centers are the primary reasons for the spread of HIV in Afghanistan. The Health Ministry is planning to open testing facilities in bordering provinces to prevent the spread of HIV from Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
More Thais to get AIDS drugs under deal (May 9)
Tens of thousands more Thais will receive desperately needed AIDS medicines under a deal announced by Bill Clinton to slash the cost of cutting-edge drugs. Under the deal with two Indian drugmakers, Thailand will be able to buy advanced anti-retroviral drugs at a fraction of the current cost
10M Children In South Asia Affected By HIV/AIDS, Officials Say (May 11)
While only a small portion of these children are HIV-positive, millions have one or both parents living with the virus or have been orphaned by AIDS. "The time has come to put children at the center of the debate." South Asia comprises Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. One quarter of the world’s children live in these eight countries.
China Must 'Move Quickly' To Control Spread Of HIV Because 'Situation Could Worsen Rapidly,' NEJM Perspective Says (May 8)
China is undergoing rapid social and economic change -- including migration from rural to urban areas and increases in commercial sex work and drug use. "Given China's enormous population, even a small increase in [HIV] prevalence could be devastating." Among new HIV cases in China, 48.6% are caused through injection drug use, 49.8% through sexual contact and 1.6% through mother-to-child transmission. Full NEJM article here.
South Korean Soap Opera Aims To Reduce Discrimination, Stigma Surrounding HIV (May 8)
The television soap opera, called “Thank you” aims to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS by portraying the story of an eight-year-old, HIV-positive girl. It has been receiving top ratings in its time slot, reaching 18.5% of television viewers. A 2005 survey of South Koreans found that 52% would not send their children to school if another student was known to be HIV-positive, and that 40% of respondents thought that HIV-positive people should be quarantined in special facilities. According to United Nations estimates, South Korea’s HIV+ population could be as high as 13,000.
India's DBT And IAVI Forge Partnership To Develop 'Next Generation' Vaccine Candidates (May 3)
The Indian Government and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative have signed an agreement to partner on HIV/AIDS vaccine research and development. Under this agreement, Indian and U.S. scientists will work to accelerate the discovery of an HIV/AIDS vaccine and develop new concepts for the "next generation" of vaccines.