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Despite Gains, HIV/AIDS Remains Public-Health Priority, UNAIDS, WHO Say

News outlets continued to examine the 2009 AIDS epidemic update released Tuesday by the WHO and UNAIDS: “The U.N. report said ‘AIDS continues to be a major public-health priority’ and called for more funds to support efforts to curb the epidemic and to distribute lifesaving drugs,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “The U.N. report also suggested that health authorities need to focus resources on those most at risk” (Fairclough, 11/25).

Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Editorial Makes Recommendations For Health-System Strengthening “There is strong consensus in the global health community, among donors, recipient countries, and policy makers, about the need for health system strengthening in low-income and middle-income countries,” write the authors of a Lancet Comment. The article recommends areas in health-system strengthening that…

Also In Global Health News: China’s Health Care System; Breastfeeding Practices In Pakistan; HIV Transmission In MSM; Abu Dhabi Joins Malaria Fight

Los Angeles Times Examines China’s Health Care Overhaul The Los Angeles Times examines China’s transition to “Western-style privatized medicine” through the government’s “$124-billion overhaul, chiefly to improve service in rural areas.” The article details the efforts of a woman from Inner Mongolia to get care in Beijing for her ailing…

AIDS 2010 Studies, Releases: Criminalization, Discrimination Of High-Risk Groups; Test-And-Treat; UNAIDS Launches HIV Prevention Commission

The criminalization of men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people in Asia is holding back efforts to contain HIV/AIDS in the region, according to a report presented Wednesday by the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) and Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health at the International AIDS Conference-AIDS 2010, VOA News reports. The report “linked the criminalization of homosexual behavior to an increase in the infection rate of HIV and AIDS in Asia,” the news service writes (Dewan, 7/21).

Opinions: AIDS 2010; Clean Water, Sanitation; Russia’s HIV/AIDS Epidemic; Financial Tax; Medical Abortion In Developing Countries

GHI Builds On PEPFAR HIV/AIDS Prevention, Treatment Programs A VOA News editorial by the U.S. government reflects on last month’s International AIDS Conference-AIDS 2010, including key advancements such as the vaginal microbicide gel found to offer women some protection against HIV infection as well discussions about funding for the fight against HIV/AIDS and how the “criminalization…

Also In Global Health News: Cholera In Haiti; Food In Ghana; Health Care Access In Afghanistan; Violence Against Women In Somalia; Male Circumcision Study

CDC Report Documents Cholera’s Spread In Haiti Haiti’s cholera outbreak has spread across the country and infected more than 91,000 people, while more than 2,000 people have died as a result, the CDC said in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which was published on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times…

NPR's 'All Things Considered' Examines How Greater Acceptance Of India's Gay Community Helps HIV Fight

NPR’s “Shots” blog includes an “All Things Considered” story that examines how “a 2009 benchmark ruling in Delhi’s High Court,” which “struck down a 148-year-old law known as Section 377, a holdover from British colonial rule that made homosexual acts illegal,” has led to a wider level of HIV outreach to Mumbai’s gay community. Vivek Anand, CEO of the Humsafar Trust, “which provides free HIV tests and other health services to Mumbai’s gay community,” said the ruling has helped health workers gain a better understanding of HIV prevalence among India’s gay population, the blog notes.

Large-Scale, Coordinated Effort Needed To Stop Increase In HIV Transmission Among MSM In China

HIV transmission in China is increasing faster among men who have sex with men (MSM) than in any other population, a trend that “cannot continue,” a group of researchers working in China write in a Nature commentary, adding, “Policymakers, public health researchers, clinicians, educators, community leaders and other stakeholders in China must come together to educate everyone, and gay men in particular, about HIV prevention and treatment — before any more people become infected as a result of ignorance and fear.” They continue, “Chinese people aren’t uncomfortable just in discussing homosexuality” but “sex in general,” which has resulted in “a pervasive stigma against people with HIV, a lack of general sex education for young people, and poor epidemiological data about the spread of HIV in some populations around the country,” as well as “a hidden population of individuals who are afraid to seek out HIV information resources or testing and counseling centers.”