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AIDS activists in Canada are protesting the government's plan to divert funds from vaccine research to support programs for HIVers, saying that adequate funding is needed in both areas. -------------------- Public-health officials in Chile have reported that an estimated 2,200 people were never informed that they had tested positive for HIV and that they are likely unknowingly spreading the virus. An intensive effort has been launched to locate and inform the HIVers of their infections. -------------------- A lack of food in Haiti is causing many HIVers to be unable to stick to their antiretroviral regimens, health officials say. About 2.7 million Haitians'nearly 30% of the nation's population'experienced severe food shortages in 2008. -------------------- The 128 new HIV cases recorded in the Czech Republic in only the first 10 months of 2008 broke a record for the highest number of new cases recorded in the country in any prior year. -------------------- Health officials in Northern Ireland have reported a 16% increase in new HIV infections in 2007, mostly as a result of growing safer-sex complacency in the United Kingdom. -------------------- Knowledge of HIV in Poland is 'scandalously low,' according to a study published in December 2008. Many Poles surveyed believed only gay men can contract HIV, and a third thought they could become infected from virus on toilet seats. -------------------- The number of HIVers receiving antiretroviral treatment in Botswana is expected to nearly double to more than 220,000 over the next eight years, according to President Ian Khama. About 25% of the nation's adults are believed to be infected with HIV. -------------------- An alarming report from South Africa shows that many teens are smoking anti-HIV drugs to get high. Health officials say the practice is doubly dangerous because it puts the youths at risk for future drug resistance to the meds and it diverts the drugs from HIVers who need them. -------------------- The government of Togo has launched a free national HIV treatment program through the African network of the Central Supply of Essential and Generic Medicines. About 25,000 HIVers initially will receive medications. -------------------- Afghanistan began offering free antiretrovirals to HIVers for the first time in January, beginning with the 40 most at-need patients. The government hopes to soon scale up the program to treat all 504 reported HIVers. -------------------- Although sexual activity has topped injection-drug use as the primary mode of HIV transmission in Beijing, China, a report has shown that fewer than half of the 90,000 sex workers in the city use condoms. -------------------- Health officials in Indonesia have abandoned a plan to implant microchips in HIVers in the nation's Papua province to track and punish those who are spreading the virus. Human rights groups around the world had blasted the proposal. -------------------- Although Iran has roughly 18,000 reported HIV cases, the nation's deputy health minister has said the true number is likely closer to 80,000. The main routes of transmission are injection-drug use, contaminated blood, and unprotected sex. -------------------- More than 60 Arab religious leaders attended a three-day conference in the fall in Lebanon that focused on raising HIV awareness in faith communities. Participants discussed the need to debunk attitudes that the virus affects only members of high-risk groups and to fight stigma in their countries. -------------------- Doctors Without Borders says the health policies of the ruling military junta in Myanmar that limit government spending on AIDS allows thousands of people to die of the disease each year. The junta spends just 70 cents per citizen per year on health care. -------------------- Citing data showing new HIV diagnoses rising every year since 1999 in Australia, AIDS advocates say the nation's government must immediately and significantly boost funding for HIV prevention outreach to better slow the spread of the virus.

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