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AIDS 2010 To Highlight Epidemic In Eastern Europe, Central Asia Regions

AIDS 2010, the International AIDS Conference to be held July 18-23 in Vienna, Austria, will “highlight the situation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, regions experiencing fast growing [HIV/AIDS] epidemics largely through unsafe injecting drug use,” conference organizers announced Wednesday, Agence France-Presse reports. Though the number of new cases of HIV worldwide has declined since 1996, “infection rates are continuing to rise in some parts of the world, especially Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Here, HIV prevalence has almost doubled since 2001,” the AFP writes.

U.N. Official Addresses Increasing Drug Addiction In Developing Countries

The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on Monday warned of an impending “health disaster facing developing countries if wealthy nations fail to control drugs,” the Agence France-Presse reports. During a speech delivered in Vienna, UNODC chief Antonio Maria Costas pointed to “increasing use of heroin in East Africa, cocaine in West Africa, and synthetic drugs in the Middle East and South East Asia as warning signs” of a growing drug problem in impoverished nations (3/8).

Study Finds Most HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care Efforts Overlook IDUs

A systematic review of HIV prevention, treatment and care for injecting drug users (IDUs) throughout the world published Monday in the journal Lancet found that international efforts to fight the disease are largely overlooking this population, the Australian Associated Press/Sydney Morning Herald reports (Rose, 3/1).

Regional HIV/AIDS Conference Opens In Russia

A regional conference kicked off Wednesday in Moscow with experts calling upon Russian authorities to change their approach to preventing the spread of HIV among injection drug users [IDUs], Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports (10/28). “The calls came in the face of a doubling in the number of HIV infections in Russia in the past eight years,” the Associated Press reports.

IRIN Examines PEPFAR Funding Of IDU Programs

IRIN examines a recent article in the journal Lancet that argues PEPFAR can do more to prevent the spread of HIV among injecting drug users (IDUs) in Africa.