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Bangladesh May Be Facing HIV Epidemic, Inter Press Service Reports

“Bangladesh has shown low HIV prevalence rates so far but may be silently moving towards an epidemic, say experts pointing to underreporting and poor monitoring for the virus in the general population,” Inter Press Service reports. “Professionals and volunteers working in the HIV/AIDS field say there is no room for complacency and that Bangladesh may well be on the brink of an epidemic, going by continuing high levels of STDs alone,” the news service writes.

India To Host Parallel Conference For Those Who Can't Attend International AIDS Conference In U.S.

“When stakeholders from across the world converge at Washington next month to participate in the International AIDS Conference (IAC) to share their experience and evaluations and to influence both popular and official perceptions and practices for curbing HIV/AIDS, India will host a parallel event for those who cannot make it there,” the Hindu reports. “The event will be organized in Kolkata by Durbar Mahila Samanway Samiti (DMSS) — an umbrella organization of over 65,000 sex workers of West Bengal in collaboration with the Global Network of Sex Work Project (NSWP),” the newspaper adds.

Ethiopian Government, PEPFAR To Run 5-Year HIV Prevention Program Aimed At High-Risk Groups

“More than 100 million condoms will be distributed annually to sex workers, men who have sex with men, and other groups vulnerable to HIV as part of a new five-year program to be run by the Ethiopian government and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR),” PlusNews reports. “Dubbed MULU, the Amharic word for comprehensive, the $70 million program — implemented by the NGOs Population Services International and World Learning — will also target day laborers in the booming construction industry, migrant workers and their partners,” the news service notes.

WHO Releases New Guidelines For Interventions Aimed At Protecting Sex Workers From HIV

The WHO on Wednesday “released new guidelines [.pdf] providing technical recommendations on effective interventions for the prevention and treatment of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among sex workers and their clients,” New Europe Online reports. “The guidelines were developed in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and are directed, in particular, to national public health officials and managers of HIV/AIDS and STI programs, non-governmental organizations and health workers,” the news service notes (Gaydazhieva, 12/13).

U.N. Says PMTCT Of HIV Is Achievable, Efforts Must Target Millions Currently ‘Falling Through The Cracks’

“A generation of babies could be born free of AIDS if the international community stepped up efforts to provide universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and social protection, the United Nations said on Tuesday,” Reuters reports. The declaration came on the eve of World AIDS Day, as U.N. leaders released a new report (.pdf), which found “millions of women and children, particularly in poor countries, fall through the cracks of HIV services either due to their gender, social or economic status, location or education,” according to the news service (Kelland, 11/30).

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).

New York Times Examines Questions Left Unanswered By Microbicide Trial

The New York Times examines a set of questions raised by news out of the International AIDS Conference-AIDS 2010 last week that a microbicide gel containing the antiretroviral (ARV) tenofovir used by women before and after sex helped reduce their risk of HIV infection by 39 percent.

Global Fund Director Calls On Emerging Countries To Invest More In Programs To Reduce HIV/AIDS, TB And Malaria At AIDS 2010

On the final day of the International AIDS Conference-AIDS 2010 Friday, Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria called upon “China, India and other fast-growing economies” to chip in to help close the funding gap in efforts to battle HIV/AIDS, Agence France-Presse reports. “Until now, these countries have been recipients of AIDS funds, not donors,” the news service writes.

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