Countries Should Not Be Distracted by Other Health Threats When Addressing HIV/AIDS, Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister Says
Singapore's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Balaji Sadasivan on Monday at a regional health conference said that the world is losing the fight against HIV/AIDS and that countries should not be distracted by other health threats, such as avian flu, Agence France Presse reports. "While we are concerned about bird flu and the risk of a bird flu pandemic, we should not forget HIV/AIDS," Sadasivan said, adding that the world is "losing the battle to control" HIV/AIDS. Efforts to control HIV/AIDS have been "only partially effective," and time is "running out" as the number of HIV-positive people "continues to rise," Sadasivan said (Agence France Presse, 4/2). Singapore later this year will coordinate efforts to fight HIV/AIDS in Asia when it chairs the ASEAN Task Force for AIDS, Singapore's Today reports. Sadasivan said, "We need to re-examine our whole idea of how we control HIV and see what new measures we have to take," adding, "I think discussing it and implementation as a region may be more effective than implementing country-by-country because HIV ... doesn't stop at the border." There are more than 2,852 people living with HIV/AIDS in Singapore, Today reports (Today, 4/3). The number of newly diagnosed HIV cases in the country increased from 237 in 2001 to more than 350 in 2006, Agence France Presse reports (Agence France Presse, 4/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.