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HIV/AIDS News Digest: June 2, 2011

June 3, 2011

Here is a quick look at a few HIV/AIDS stories recently reported in the media:

MSNBC Tackles Aging, AIDS and Loss (From

With so many media outlets covering AIDS as it approaches its 30th anniversary on June 5, it's been difficult to call out all the best coverage. This video and accompanying article about aging, HIV and loss is very simple, and yet powerful and touching.

The article focuses on 78-year-old, long-term survivor Bill Rydwels. He was diagnosed with HIV in 1985, the same year he lost his partner of 17 years to the disease. Rydwels discusses both his happiness at being alive now, and also the loneliness of losing so many friends in the early days. He also talks about the difficulties of being a gay senior living with HIV and how the sense of community has changed since the early days of the epidemic.

See his video below:

Op-Ed: Why the Catholic Church Would Rather Let You Die Than Let You Use a Condom (From International Business Times)

There has been a lot of chatter about the conference that was held by the Vatican last weekend at which Vatican officials stated that they are still against condom use. For the International Business Times, journalist Amrutha Gayathri wrote about the frustrations and disappointment that this statement has brought the HIV community given the rising HIV rates worldwide. Gayathri also believes this stance is extremely problematic given that the Church is one of the largest providers of HIV care facilities in the world.

Gayathri wrote:

Greater issues like moral obligation and responsible living seem to be the focal points of Vatican's approach on HIV/AIDS prevention. Church's unyielding attitude has taken many by surprise particularly because the 2009 official statistics on AIDS showed a staggering number of more than 33 million infected population world wide, a steep increase from the 8 million in 1990. Greater precautions like restrained lifestyle and accountability are sure winners, but a more progressive stand on condoms to help the STD risk groups is not too much to ask for.

Turning away from something as ubiquitous as condom in the 21st century might even render the Church completely out-dated, according to condom advocates.

When Church is all about informed decision making, large section of doctors and researchers believe that it isn't the lack of information that is leading people to risky actions. At least for some people sex is a means of survival. Church will not include condom in the disease prevention facility, thus closing a free access door to condoms for the sex workers.

HIV Rates Up in Canada (From

In many countries around the world, HIV infections are increasing. Canada is no exception.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says there's been a 14 per cent increase in the number of people living with HIV in Canada from 2005 to 2008. Every eight hours, a Canadian contracts HIV. As well, young adults accounted for about 24 per cent of all people newly diagnosed with HIV and AIDS in 2007.

It's a disturbing and disappointing trend, says Christopher Bunting, the president of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR).

"We've come a very long way both in terms of attitudes and in terms of medical advances. But we've still got a gap to close," Bunting told CTV's Canada AM Friday. ... "I think Canadians need to re-engage with this issue. This disease is still with us, it's still among us. And I think it's definitely moved off to the back burner over the last decade in particular," he said.

Other HIV/AIDS Articles in the Media

Elton John Urges Fla. Governor to Save HIV/AIDS Funding (From The Associated Press)

Op-Ed: The Porn Industry Needs Health Regulations (From

HIV/AIDS Now Leading Cause of Death for Black Women (From

Kellee Terrell is the former news editor for and

Copyright © 2011 The HealthCentral Network, Inc. All rights reserved.

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