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Also In Global Health News: Humanitarian, Development Aid; North Korea Asks For Food Aid; HIV/AIDS In Afghanistan; Peru’s Dengue Outbreak

Oxfam Report Says Aid Money Being Used To Promote Military, Security Objectives Donor countries “are ‘increasingly concentrating’ both humanitarian and development aid on countries and regions seen to threaten their own immediate security interests, while neglecting other equally insecure, impoverished and conflict-afflicted places,” the humanitarian group Oxfam said in a report…

Also In Global Health News: Global Alcohol-Related Deaths; Pentavalent Vaccine Plant To Resume Operations; Harm-Reduction In Russia; IDUs In Tanzania; MDG Tracking Program In Kenya

Alcohol Kills 2.5M Annually, WHO Report Says “Alcohol abuse is killing 2.5 million people each year,” according to a report from the WHO, which said that about “4 percent of all deaths worldwide are attributable to alcohol,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. “The main causes of alcohol-related deaths are injuries incurred…

Recent Releases In Global Health

The Importance Of Investing In Adolescent Girls: A Lancet editorial examines the challenges adolescent girls living in developing countries face and the work of the U.N. Adolescent Girls Task Force (UNAGTF) to help young women overcome these barriers. “This International Women’s Day, we recognise that investment in today’s population of…

Al Jazeera Examines HIV In Russia

Al Jazeera continues its coverage of HIV in Russia, where “[t]he latest official figures show that about 200 new cases are being recorded every single day.” The news service writes, “HIV is spreading five times faster in Russia than the global average, with Ukraine and Russia accounting for 90 percent of the region’s cases,” adding, “The main source for 60 percent of new infections is dirty needles used to inject drugs.” However, the country has “resisted so-called harm reduction strategies including funding needle exchange programs, angering health workers and global HIV prevention groups,” Al Jazeera writes, noting, “Activists say social stigma is impeding the fight against HIV in Russia.” An accompanying “Inside Story” video report examines how Russia “plan[s] to stem the rise in HIV” (1/4).

Russia Will Not Use HIV Spending To Fund Needle Exchange, Methadone Therapy, Reuters Reports

Though Russia is doubling its budget for HIV in 2012 over 2010 levels, “no money will go to such internationally recognized efforts as needle exchanges” and methadone replacement therapy, Reuters reports. “Moscow doesn’t believe these approaches help slow the spread of HIV/AIDS,” and “[s]ome health workers and global HIV authorities are angered and baffled by Russia’s approach, which they say will only aggravate the problem,” the news service writes. The article examines how government spending for HIV will be used, with only three percent of about $600 million expected to go toward prevention programs in 2012, and how non-governmental organizations are coping with cuts in funding from international donor programs (Ferris-Rotman/Koppel, 12/21).

Greek Health System Suffers Amid Growing Economic Crisis

Reuters examines how a worsening economic crisis in Greece is affecting the country’s health system, highlighting a 36 percent decrease in health spending by Greeks this year, according to the National School of Public Health, and an increase of more than 50 percent in new cases of HIV from the first five months of 2010 to the same period this year. The news service also notes a rise in depression and suicide, writing, “Greeks are swallowing 35 percent more antidepressants than they did five years ago, according to the National School of Public Health. The health ministry says suicides are up 40 percent so far this year.”

Austerity Measures In Europe May Cause Rise In Drug-Related HIV Infections, Report Says

“Austerity measures brought in to tackle Europe’s economic crisis may cause a rise in drug-related HIV infections as stretched health services struggle to cope, the E.U.’s narcotics agency said on Tuesday,” Reuters reports. “Greece, which is facing huge cutbacks, reported a large outbreak of HIV infections among drug users in July, the Lisbon-based agency said in its yearly report,” the news agency writes, noting, “New infections were also reported in Bulgaria, Estonia and Lithuania, it added.”

Reuters Examines How Harm Reduction Policies In Switzerland Could Serve As Model For Reducing Spread Of HIV/AIDS Among IDUs

“Switzerland’s innovative policy of providing drug addicts with free methadone and clean needles has greatly reduced deaths while cutting crime rates and should serve as a global model, health experts said on Monday,” Reuters reports in an article that examines the outcomes resulting from drug policy reform in the country (Nebehay, 10/25).

To Reduce Spread Of HIV/AIDS, IFRC Calls For More Focus On IDU Programs

Ahead of World AIDS Day, the International Federation of the Red Cross on Friday released a report (.pdf) calling for governments around the world to do more to help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS among populations of injecting drug users (IDUs), the Associated Press reports (Heilprin, 11/25).

Also In Global Health News: HIV Prevention In Iran; Water Pricing; Malaria Control Challenges; Drought In Niger; MBAs

AP Examines Iran’s Efforts To Curb Spread Of HIV/AIDS Among Drug Users The Associated Press reports that health experts participating at this week’s International Harm Reduction Association conference in Liverpool are looking to Iran’s methadone clinics and needle exchange programs as a possible model for other countries looking to stop HIV/AIDS…

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