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Global Snapshot

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Broadcasters, producers, journalists, and media executives in Asia have pledged to step up their response to AIDS by forming the Asia Pacific Media AIDS Initiative, which aims to ensure increased and improved media coverage of HIV issues in the region. ----- ----- ----- There has been a significant rise in Australia in the incidence of HIV, according to a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia. It shows a 31% increase in the number of new cases over the six years to 2006. The study's coauthor says risky sexual behavior among gay men appears to have caused the trend. ----- ----- ----- The health minister and immigration minister of Australia have advised Prime Minister John Howard to adopt a policy that would require HIV-positive migrants to report to health authorities within one month of arriving in Australia or risk losing their visas. In a radio interview in April, Howard said his 'initial reaction is no' to a question of whether HIV-positive people should be permitted to enter the country. ----- ----- ----- Officials in Brazil have prepared a study to determine the feasibility of constructing a $23 million pharmaceutical plant in Mozambique to produce anti-HIV medications as well as drugs for other diseases. Brazil has also offered to provide technology, training, and quality monitoring for the plant. ----- ----- ----- Researchers in China have found that 32.9% of Beijing university students say they would not object to having an HIV-positive classmate, while 23% say they are unwilling to have one. In addition, 7% of respondents say HIVers should not be admitted to universities, while 31% say they should be admitted only 'with certain restrictions.' ----- ----- ----- According to United Nations'backed government estimates, the number of HIV patients in India is 2.47 million, not the 5.7 million previously estimated. The new figure refutes the notion that India has the world's biggest HIV caseload. Now it is below South Africa's and Nigeria's. The U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.N. helped calculate the numbers. ----- ----- ----- The minister of Women and Child Development in India has told the nation's women that they should protect themselves from HIV by keeping condoms, since their straying husbands could carry the virus home after visiting other women. 'You cannot trust men or your husbands, with apologies to the men present here,' the minister told the inaugural meeting of the National Women Forum of Indian Network of People Living with HIV. ----- ----- ----- Bristol-Myers Squibb has announced an expansion of its Secure the Future program in the developing world through replicating its most successful HIV treatment support programs in partnership with governments, community groups, and other funders. The initiative will create treatment support programs based on methods proved successful even in the poorest, most remote areas of Africa. The program is already being replicated in Mali, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. ----- ----- ----- The governor of Puerto Rico has announced that its AIDS treatment program--hit by drug shortages this year--will be aggressively revamped to ensure that patients in the U.S. territory receive medication without delays. ----- ----- ----- The health minister of South Africa says a new report shows the 'first evidence of a decline' in the country's HIV epidemic. Preliminary figures from a 2006 antenatal survey found HIV prevalence among pregnant women had dropped to 29.1% from 30.2% the prior year; the decline was mainly among women younger than 20. ----- ----- ----- Sub-Saharan Africa could face more than 36 million new HIV cases by 2015 if current trends continue, according to the Global HIV Working Group. The group also says clinics will see an ever-growing number of people in need of treatment and that millions of people will die from the disease. ----- ----- ----- The number of new HIV cases in Sweden recorded during the first half of this year has increased 40% compared with the same time period in 2006 and is at a record high, according to the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control. ----- ----- ----- A report from the United Kingdom by the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV says there is a 'sexual health crisis' among British youth. The report found that Britain has the highest rate of sexually transmitted diseases in Europe. Over the past 12 years HIV and chlamydia increased 300%, while syphilis has increased 2,000%.

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