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Global Snapshot

Global Snapshot


New HIV diagnoses have risen 20% in Canada during the past five years, with women accounting for about one quarter of the new cases, according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. Health officials in Tijuana, Mexico, have begun enforcing a new law that regulates the city's sex industry and requires sex workers to be screened monthly for HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases. Health officials in Brazil say racism may play a factor in rising HIV rates among residents self-identified as black or brown. A government study found blacks are almost twice as likely as whites not to know how HIV is transmitted. Two gay men in the United Kingdom have filed a lawsuit saying that if the British government had done a better job of informing those at risk of HIV infection that postexposure prophylaxis is effective, one of the pair could possibly have avoided contracting HIV from the other. An estimated 7,000 people were infected with HIV in France in 2004, the latest year for which figures are available, up 16% from 2003, when reporting first became mandatory. Two thirds of the new diagnoses were among women. The HIV prevalence rate in prisons in Russia is estimated to be four times higher than that of the general population, according to a report by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, with injection-drug use identified as the cause of most such transmissions. Nigeria has launched a free antiretroviral treatment program, with the goal of getting 250,000 HIV-positive people into treatment by the end of 2006. Nigeria is home to an estimated 3.6 million HIV-positive residents. Zimbabwe is facing a shortage of antiretroviral medications, a situation officials blame on the nation's hyperinflation rate of more than 500%. The resulting foreign currency shortage prevents drugmakers from being able to pay for imported materials to make low-cost generic medications, according to government officials. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria suspended $43 million in funding to LoveLife, an HIV prevention program in South Africa targeting youth. Global Fund money accounts for about 30% of the agency's budget. The number of AIDS deaths in Thailand dropped nearly 79% in 2005, mostly due to wider access to antiretrovirals, health officials say. The nation's health ministry also says it hopes to slash new HIV infections by 10% in 2006. Officials in China say the country will nearly double annual spending on HIV prevention to $186 million in 2006 and 2007, up from $99.1 million spent in 2005.

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