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AMERICAS >'A lawmaker in Brazil has recommended publicizing the names of all HIV-positive people living in the Rio de Janeiro region and requiring them to carry identification cards to protect the health of medical providers. Opponents likened the suggestion to the Nazi requirement that Jews wear a yellow Star of David. >'A new study has shown that a prison-tattooing program that was canceled in Canada was cost-effective and successful in reducing HIV and hepatitis C transmissions through illicit prison tattooing. The prevalence of HIV among Canadian prisoners is 10 times that of the general public. >'A new report by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS says that women account for 60% of all HIV-positive people in Haiti. The high percentage is linked with stigma, discrimination, and gender-based violence, according to UNAIDS.. -------------------- EUROPE >'Although new HIV diagnoses in Estonia have been declining since 2006, health officials reported more than 125 new cases during the first four months of 2009. More than 16% of the new diagnoses were among prisoners. >'New HIV infections rose more than 25% in rural sections of Ireland in 2008, leading health experts to call for new awareness, testing, and safer-sex education campaigns. >'Scotland has reported a record-breaking 109 new HIV cases in the first three months of the year, with about half of the infections among gay and bisexual men. It is believed about half of the infections were acquired outside of Scotland. >'A physician specializing in sexually transmitted diseases in Wales has reported that some HIV-positive people say they have been denied medical treatment by general practitioners and instead are referred to HIV specialists for such non-HIV-related ailments as a common cold.. -------------------- AFRICA >'AIDS activists say a new law in Burundi that makes homosexuality a crime will hamper efforts to stop the spread of HIV by further marginalizing gay and bisexual men, already considered a high-risk group in the nation. >'The National AIDS Council in Congo has purchased a new mobile testing unit to provide HIV screenings and counseling in the nation's capital, Brazzaville. The unit will be sent to schools, religious buildings, and markets in the city. >'The government of Kenya has launched a yearlong campaign focused on providing prevention services and reducing HIV-related illnesses among the estimated 8% of Kenyans who are already infected with the virus. >'Experts worry that HIV may spread rapidly among the more than 20,000 residents of Namibia displaced to resettlement camps because of recent flooding of the Zambezi River. HIV prevalence is already estimated at about 30%. >'The court of appeal in Senegal has overturned jail sentences given to nine gay HIV prevention activists. The men had been convicted of "indecent acts against nature." >'Islamic religious leaders in Somalia have increased their efforts to reduce stigma and discrimination against HIV-positive people in the country by encouraging their congregants to participate in prevention initiatives and to treat HIVers with respect and kindness. -------------------- ASIA >'The United Nations has joined with the health ministry in Afghanistan on a $1.9 million HIV prevention and care project targeting drug-using Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran. >'In an effort to increase HIV awareness among drivers, particularly professional truckers, many of whom visit sex workers while on the road, the government of Cambodia has said it will add a dozen questions about the disease to the nation's driver license exam. >'The health ministry in Iran has reported that more than 1,000 new HIV cases have been recorded in the country since December and that about 19,500 people in the country are now HIV-positive. More than three quarters of the cases are linked to injection-drug use. >'A new HIV prevention program in Laos aims to reach "hidden" gay and bisexual men who identify as heterosexual to avoid stigma regarding their sexual orientation. Men who have sex with men in the nation are believed to have an HIV prevalence rate 56 times higher than the general population. >'Doctors Without Borders has said it can treat only about 11,000 of the estimated 76,000-plus HIVers in Myanmar who are in urgent need of antiretroviral treatment. As many as 25,000 people die of AIDS each year in the country. >'A key program in Pakistan that provided HIV prevention education to more than 40,000 people and tests to more than 10,000 in seven cities ended in April when funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development ran out. -------------------- OCEANIA >'Health officials in Fiji say that a number of factors -- economic and social inequality, stigma, migration, mobility, and a lack of access to medical care -- have created ideal conditions for HIV to explode in the island nation. >'More than 90 hotels in Papua New Guinea now offer free condoms to guests through a partnership with the Business Coalition Against HIV and AIDS. The condoms are packaged in wrappers designed by local artists. >'Officials with Oxfam International say media outlets in the Solomon Islands need to do more to increase HIV awareness and combat AIDS stigma. Profile stories on HIVers living successfully with the disease are especially needed, the aid agency says. >'New Zealand has reported a record number of new HIV cases in 2008, with about half the cases among men who have sex with men. The nation also saw four cases of mother-to-child transmission last year.
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