Agence France-Presse on Sunday and Monday published a series of articles on the status of the HIV/AIDS pandemic ahead of the XVI International AIDS Conference, which will be held Aug. 13 through Aug. 18 in Toronto. Summaries of the articles appear below.
- "AIDS-Blighted Africa Still Slow To Roll Out ARV Therapy": African countries have taken "some strides" in the HIV/AIDS epidemic over the last 25 years, but health officials say that a shortage of funds, weak health systems and poor management "mean[s] that far more needs to done" to curb the disease and provide access to treatment, Agence France-Presse reports (Agence France-Presse, 8/7).
- "Coping Replaces Despair in San Francisco Gay Mecca as AIDS Turns 25": "Twenty-five years ago a mysterious disease that came to be known as AIDS cut a deadly swath through San Francisco," the Agence France-Presse reports. There have been nearly 18,000 deaths in the city because of AIDS-related illnesses since then, according to Jason Riggs spokesperson for the Stop AIDS Project (Agence France-Presse, 8/6).
- "Experts Take Stock After First Quarter Century of War on AIDS": This year's International AIDS Conference should "unfold in a mood of relative optimism and serenity" in contrast to previous conferences because countries have boosted efforts to fight HIV/AIDS; low-cost antiretroviral drugs are being made available to developing countries; and the search for an HIV vaccine is "beyond the horizon," AFP/ChannelNewsAsia reports (AFP/ChannelNewsAsia, 8/7).
- "Fear Isolates AIDS Sufferers in China": As China addresses its HIV/AIDS epidemic, advocates have called for increased efforts to reduce HIV/AIDS stigma in the country; improved monitoring and counseling services for HIV-positive people; and expanded HIV testing for high-risk groups, including injection drug users, Agence France-Presse reports (Agence France-Presse, 8/6)
- "Questions Remain as Indians Claim Progress in Fight Against AIDS": AFP/Yahoo! News examines efforts by HIV/AIDS advocates and nongovernmental organizations in India to discuss educating commercial sex workers about HIV prevention and reducing the social stigma surrounding the disease (Phillip, AFP/Yahoo! News, 8/7).
- "Russia Finds Money Alone Will Not Stem HIV": Russian states' and local governments' mismanagement of HIV/AIDS services, poor education in many rural areas and discrimination against HIV-positive people continue to leave some HIV-positive people unable to access HIV treatment and education in the country, Agence France-Presse reports (Agence France-Presse, 8/6).
- "Senegal's Low HIV Prevalence, Envy of Many in Africa": Senegal is regarded as Africa's "pioneer" in battling the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the AFP/Independent Online reports. According to 2005 UNAIDS data, the country has one of the lowest HIV prevalence rates at 0.7% (Grosbois, AFP/Independent Online, 8/7).
- "U.S. Gays' Role Honored in Fight for AIDS Awareness": HIV/AIDS advocates and health officials discuss the U.S. gay community's vital role in raising awareness of and mobilizing efforts to fight HIV/AIDS since the pandemic's inception, Agence France-Presse reports (Agence France-Presse, 8/6).
The XVI International AIDS Conference program is available online.
Kaisernetwork.org will serve as official webcaster of the conference. Sign up now to receive free daily email updates during the conference at www.kaisernetwork.org/aids2006.
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