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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.

U.N. Agencies’ Report Examines Global Progress In Fight Against HIV/AIDS

“A record 1.2 million people in low- and middle-income countries started antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS in 2009” – a 30 percent increase from the previous year and a 13-fold increase in six years, according to a joint report released Tuesday by the WHO, UNICEF and UNAIDS, Reuters reports. In total, the report found that 5.25 million people received antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 2009, three-quarters of them living in Africa (Migiro, 9/28).

Also In Global Health News: Kenya Votes On Constitution; Global Wheat Prices Soar; HIV And TB In China; Female Condoms In India; Malaria Centers Receive Funding

As Kenya Votes For Constitution, Abortion And HIV Rights Issues Remain Kenyans “voted peacefully” Wednesday on a constitution that most were “expected to vote in favour” of, according to surveys, Reuters reports (8/4). Kenyan officials have supported the constitution but, VOA News reports, “issues of abortion, land, and Islamic courts”…

Also In Global Health News: Syphilis In China; HIV Vaccine Development; Tracking Malaria Outbreaks; Ecuador’s Maternity Law

Journal Perspective Piece Discusses Rising Number Of Syphilis Cases In China In 2008, almost 9,500 babies were born with syphilis in China, “a 12-fold increase over a five year period,” according to a New England Journal of Medicine perspective piece, the “China Real Time Report” blog reports, adding that the resurgence of the disease is…

Also In Global Health News: Canada To Support Health Programs In Africa; Chan on N. Korea; Improving Living Conditions In DRC; Nepalese Sex Trafficking Victims

Canada To Give Africa $178M Over 5 Years, Minister Says  Canada will give $178 million over five years to support maternal, child health and educational projects in nine African countries, Bev Oda, Canada’s international cooperation minister, said on Thursday, a day after the conclusion of a meeting of G8 development…

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).