Newspapers Highlight Global HIV/AIDS Issues During XV International AIDS Conference
Several newspapers published stories on global HIV/AIDS to coincide with the beginning of the XV International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. Summaries of the stories appear below.
- "As AIDS Spreads Slowly in Asia, So Does Inaction," Asian Wall Street Journal: The slow progression of HIV/AIDS in Asia could "lull leaders into a tepid response" to the disease, the Journal reports. In Asia, India has the highest number -- 5.1 million -- of people infected with HIV, and some conference attendees say that the country's raw numbers already might have surpassed those of South Africa, which has been the world leader in terms of total number of HIV cases. Richard Feachem, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said, "India is the pivotal point of the AIDS epidemic, already very large and almost certainly the largest in the world. The Indian response is far short of what is necessary." Tim Brown, a senior fellow at the Honolulu-based think tank East-West Center, said, "The slowly evolving epidemics of Asia are very dangerous," adding, "We're very worried about Bangladesh," where four percent of people who use injectable drugs are infected with HIV (Chase, Asian Wall Street Journal, 7/12).
- "Cambodian Wives at Risk From AIDS," BBC News: Although married women in Cambodia had not been viewed as a "particular risk category" for HIV, they now account for 42% of all new HIV infections in the country, according to BBC News. Julia Hoare of the Australian Red Cross said, "The greatest risk for women in Southeast Asia is being married, because husbands are bringing the disease home to their wives" (Morris, BBC News, 7/11).
- "An Exodus of African Nurses Puts Infants and the Ill in Peril," New York Times: To combat Africa's current "brain drain of health professionals," low-income sub-Saharan countries should more than double their nursing staffs -- adding at least 620,000 nurses -- to care for people with HIV/AIDS, the Times reports. African-born nurses are "flock[ing]" to other countries because they are "discouraged by low pay and grueling conditions," while some nurses are "simply dying" from HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, according to the Times. Staff shortages are compromising many African nations' ability to use grants from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Global Fund (Dugger, New York Times, 7/12).
- "Asia on Precipice of Disaster: With Smoldering Epidemics in China and India, Region at 'Critical Juncture,'" San Francisco Chronicle: India and China are "coping with smoldering" HIV/AIDS epidemics, with millions of HIV-positive people, the Chronicle reports. Although experts do not expect that HIV will "explode" in Asia as it did in Africa, even a small increase in infections "would create a vast human catastrophe," according to the Chronicle (Russell, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/11).
- "Condoms and Comedy to the Rescue in Thailand," USA Today: USA Today profiles Thai Sen. Mechai Viravaidya, conference co-chair and creator of the country's "massive public education campaign" to encourage condom use. The senator is "pushing to re-energize" the country's prevention program amid criticism that it is "mired in complacency," USA Today reports (Sternberg, USA Today, 7/12).
- "In India, the Stigma of AIDS Curbs Control of HIV," Wall Street Journal: With 4.58 million HIV-positive people, India is "at a critical point in tackling the epidemic," but "ignorance" about the disease "remains rife," the Journal reports. Such ignorance has resulted in an "all-pervasive stigma" attached to HIV/AIDS and discrimination has prevented those with the disease from revealing their conditions or seeking treatment information, according to the Journal (Slater, Wall Street Journal, 7/12).
The following programs included features on HIV/AIDS:
- APM's "Marketplace": The segment reports on South African trucking companies' programs to provide HIV/AIDS treatment to workers (Whitney, "Marketplace," APM, 7/9). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.
- APM's "Marketplace Morning Report": The segment reports on Asian companies producing inexpensive HIV/AIDS treatments ("Marketplace Morning Report," APM, 7/9). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.
- BBC's "Health Matters": The segment interviews Dr. Noerine Kaleeba, who founded the AIDS Support Organization in Uganda after her husband died of AIDS (Myers, "Health Matters," BBC, 7/12). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer. BBC audio may not be available more than one week after the broadcast.
- NPR's "All Things Considered": The segment on Monday will profile a Thai woman who is receiving HIV/AIDS treatment ("All Things Considered," NPR, 7/12). The complete segment will be available online in RealPlayer after the broadcast.
- NPR's "Morning Edition": The segment includes comments from International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care President and CEO Jose Zuniga and profiles Krisana Kraisintu, a Thai woman who works to provide HIV/AIDS drugs to Thai orphans (Knox, "Morning Edition," NPR, 7/12). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.
- NPR's "Weekend Edition Sunday": The segment profiles the largest HIV/AIDS hospice in Bangkok and its patients (Knox, "Weekend Edition Sunday," NPR, 7/11). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.