Archive for the 'asia' Category

30
Nov
07

World Aids Day, Dec 1: What’s going on??

Here is a round up of links with news and events about the upcoming World Aids Day for 2007.

Rock group Queen to release new single to mark World AIDS Day

AIDS Action Council Statement on World AIDS Day 2007

SIRIUS: Honors International Day of AIDS Awareness

World AIDS Day in India

Grab your free condoms on World Aids Day

Proclamation by the President: World AIDS Day, 2007

CNN Student News Learning Activity: World AIDS Day

World Aids Day Campaign to Shine a Light of Hope on the HIV/AIDS

Global vigil for AIDS orphans begins in Toronto

Zambia: ON December 1, Country Will Join the World AIDS Day

Experts Available to Discuss World AIDS Day, HIV/AIDS Issues

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14
Sep
07

Cambodia and Ethiopia: Real life stories of people living with HIV & hunger

2006 WFP/A K Kimoto Chea and her husband Hom receive a WFP food ration, which helps ensure that their TB and anti-retroviral treatment is as effective as possible.

Cambodia: Chea, Hom and Nob Nem

11 August 2006 – Chea, 36, worked as a construction laborer in Phnom Penh. “I don’t know when I became HIV-positive but we were both tested in 2005 during Hom’s pregnancy.”

“I am on anti-retroviral therapy but now I have TB. At the moment I am too ill to work, though I am slowly improving and want to work again,” said Chea.

Normally he earns roughly $US7.50 per month.

Making ends meet

Hom brings in a small income by recycling rice bags into ropes for leading cattle.

It is labour intensive work and she manages to make 100 to 200 ropes per month, which sell for $US1.50 per hundred.

“Both our families sold their land and cattle in order to pay for treatment and food for us,” she explained.

After giving birth to their daughter, Hom required blood transfusions which finished the money completely.

Reflecting on the future

“We have nothing except our healthy baby,” she added. The baby’s grandmother, Nob Nem, is visibly upset as she contemplates the family’s future.

The baby is her first grandchild and she has spent much time with her while Hom was ill.

“We are accepted in the village. Whenever anyone needs anything we are there,” Nob Nem says.

The family relies on Partners in Compassion, a local non-governmental organization for assistance.

The package of care they receive includes a food ration from WFP, which helps ensure that the TB and anti-retroviral treatment that Chea and Hom receive is as effective as possible.

Ethiopia: Tsehai Tesfaye

My name is Tsehai Tesfaye. I’m 37 years old and come from a very poor family.

I have never worked other than being a sex worker. Any guy who would pay me for love was welcome. This was how I earned a living.

As I was going out with different men, I was often sick with sexually transmitted infections.

Poor health

I have a feeling I got the virus from the one man I fell in love with. The guy was handsome, had a good job that paid him well.

We had a decent life for some time. But I started getting sick, so we separated.

Three years ago, I was tested and told that I am HIV-positive. Now my health is sporadic. I have an aching chest, a sore throat and a cough.

In this clinic where you found me, there were some 30 of us who were taking treatments for HIV.

Surviving

Most have died and the few of us still alive survive thanks to the Community Based Integrated Sustainable Development Organization.

I’m also receiving food. Thanks to the organization, I’m receiving 30 kilo grammes of wheat and some cooking oil.

I’m actually well fed and am not induced to go the other way to earn a living.

Family infected

I head a family of nine, seven of whom are my children. Three in the family – my youngest daughter, my brother and myself – are living with the HIV virus.

My youngest daughter was almost always sick and losing weight. So I took her to the health center where they told me the reality. I think she got it from me.

I’m doing my part for my 20-year-old daughter to prevent her from falling into the miserable life I led.

Young as she is, I’m advising her to be careful in her life. I don’t know to what extent I’ll be successful.

Good nutrition vital

Now I see one big problem. If I fall ill for a longer period of time, that may force my three young kids to look after me, which will eventually affect their schooling.

I openly tell to all I have the virus in my body and advise them they should be watchful not to be infected.

I even warn those who have the virus that they should eat nutritious food as much as possible so they live longer.

When I don’t eat well, the illness becomes worse; all my body becomes full of rashes. Had it not been for the food I am still getting, you wouldn’t have seen me talking to you now.

World Food Programme 

10
Sep
07

Nepal: ‘HIV infection is not end of life’

KATHMANDU, Sept 7: It is double trouble for women infected with HIV/AIDS. Already being the victims of the deadly disease, they face rampant discrimination from the society mainly because they are women.

Speaking at an interaction organized by Shakti Milan Samaj (SMS), Goma Rai, who is in the terminal state of HIV, said the society about change the perception of looking at women with HIV/AIDS.

SMS is a non-government organization established by women infected with HIV for the protection, promotion and empowerment of women and children having HIV.

Rai and all the members of the organization are infected by HIV as a result of trafficking and drugs abuse. Initially, the organization was established by two persons infected with HIV/AIDS. Now, it has more than 40 members.

She said members of SMS, who were shunned by their families and society, are now involved in income generating activities and leading an independent life.

The SMS provide financial help to members who are willing to do get into income-generating activities.

Another victim Sarita Shrestha said she got the virus from her husband who was a drug addict. Her husband is dead now and she has been living under the care of SMS.

“When I knew that I was infected with HIV all my dreams were shattered. But now I have realized that to be infected with HIV is not the end of life and this has boosted my confidence,” Sarita said.

Chairman of National Non-Government Organization Network against HIV/AIDS. Hari Awasthi, said the awareness campaign should reach out to all over Mid-and Far-Western Regions from where many youths have migrated abroad for employment during the conflict making them vulnerable to the virus.

Rajiv Kafle, the anti-AIDS campaigner, said the anti-HIV/AIDS programme should be expanded to Far-Western Region in order to collect the actual number of women infected with HIV and AIDS. He also stressed on the need for awareness programme in the remote part such as Darchula, Achham and Doti of the region.

President of National AIDS and STD Control Padam Bahadur Chand said that the government and NGOs working for the elimination of HIV/AIDS should distribute the resources equally all over the country.

He said the real problems of women and children infected by HIV and AIDS could not be brought out to the open unless the government and NGOs reach out to the far-and mid-western parts of Nepal.

26
Aug
07

HIV positive children thrown out of school in India

There have been a disturbing number of stories involving children and HIV discrimination in the news…all over the world…lately.  It’s a very very disturbing trend.  Here is another example.

Parents have demanded that a Baruipur primary school throw out children suspected to be HIV-
positive. The West Bengal Board of Primary Education has, however, stood its ground and refused to give in to
the demand.

The incident is a virtual repeat of an episode in a remote Kerala village, where HIV-positive children were ostracised by parents and their wards last year.

The vicious whisper campaign against the children was started about a fortnight ago by a local goon at Gobindapur village, 25 km from Kolkata. He incited some villagers into demanding the ouster of the students. These ‘HIV-positive’ students are residents of a home run by an NGO.

Things came to a head about a week ago, when some parents submitted a signed memorandum to the school authorities, demanding that the HIV-positive children be removed.

“We cannot allow our wards to study with HIV-positive kids. They are a threat and will infect our children. The school must throw them out, failing which we will withdraw our children,” the letter to the headmaster stated.

Visit The Times of India for the rest of this article 

23
Aug
07

Aids spreading though human trafficking in Asia says UN

Reuters reports that the United Nations said Wednesday that  the trafficking of an estimated 300,000 women and children across Asia each year, many forced into prostitution, is helping spread HIV/Aids.

Women and children are most vulnerable to trafficking because of poverty, gender inequality and rights imbalances, said Caitlin Wiesen-Antin, HIV/AIDs regional coordinator Asia and Pacific for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

“Both human trafficking and HIV greatly threaten human development and security, she told the International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific being hosted in the Sri Lankan capital.

“Trafficking … also contributes to the spread of HIV by significantly increasing the vulnerability of trafficked persons to infection,” she added, publishing a UNDP report on human trafficking and HIV that focuses on Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

“The link between human trafficking and HIV/AIDS has only been identified fairly recently. Neither HIV/AIDS nor human trafficking have been integrated or mainstreamed adequately, either at policy or programmatic level,” Wiesen-Antin said.

Major human trafficking routes run between Nepal and India and between Thailand and neighbours like Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. Many of the victims are young teenage girls.

UNAIDS estimates 5.4 million people were living with HIV in the Asia Pacific region in 2006, with anywhere between 140,000 and 610,000 people dying from AIDS-related illnesses.

22
Aug
07

China, Aids, and the Olympics

Medindia.com | China’s Battle With HIV/AIDS – Olympics In The Way
China’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has bad news. Unsafe sex is now touted as the main cause of new HIV infections in the country, overtaking drug abuse through injections for the first time. The finding is important more so as it now means that the virus is spreading from high-risk groups to the general public.

The report released jointly by the MOH and the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention gives that of the 70,000 new HIV infections recorded in 2005, almost half were through sexual contact. Figures for 2006 are not available.

Says Gao Qi, a project manager with Beijing-based China HIV/AIDS Information Network: “It’s the first time since 1989, when the first HIV infection was detected, for sex to top the transmission list nationwide.” He says that the new trend demonstrates further spread of the deadly virus and a tougher war against the epidemic.

In response to the challenge, the Chinese government is taking measures such as highlighting HIV intervention and prevention among sex workers. Sex workers are said to be the “bridge population” linking those at most risk for HIV with the general population.

Meanwhile, double standards are being acted out too. Authorities are accordingly cracking down on groups that support AIDS patients and orphans, in a bid to play down China’s flaws before the news media’s glare, as preparations for next year’s Olympic Games begin.

In one incident, an activist in Henan province, where the nation’s AIDS crisis hit early claims police ordered him out of his office Thursday and suggested that he vacate the area for his own safety.

“They said our organization was illegal and our activities were illegal,” says Zhu Zhaowu of the China Orchid AIDS Project’s office in Kaifeng in central Henan province.

In the same city, police stopped a conference for AIDS activists that had been scheduled for Aug. 19-20 by another nonprofit group, known as Grassroots.

That is not all. Earlier this month, police had reportedly banned two other AIDS conferences in the southern city of Guangzhou — one that was to bring legal scholars from three continents and another at Sun Yatsen University.

These barricades are disturbing foreign experts who seek to help China cope with the rising challenges of combating HIV infection.

Says Meg Davis, director of Asia Catalyst, a New York-based group and co-sponsor of the canceled Guangzhou legal conference: “Nothing about it makes any sense.

“China is at a crossroads both in terms of its fight against AIDS and its very new and fragile civil society,” Davis adds.

Meanwhile, some domestic activists stress that China’s leaders are bearing down on HIV/AIDS programs because they worry that international media attention in the run-up to next summer’s Olympic Games will focus on aspects of China that leaders find embarrassing.

“They hope that there will be no unharmonious voices during the Olympics period,” quotes Hu Jia, an activist and co-founder of a nonprofit Beijing AIDS group.

Yet, legal experts say this crackdown could backfire on China’s efforts to combat HIV infection.

“If you suppress human rights, what happens is that people vulnerable to HIV are scared to be tested or seek treatment,” warns Mark Heywood, founder of South Africa’s AIDS Law Project and chairman of the UNAIDS Human Rights Reference Group, a body offering advice on the global epidemic.

21
Aug
07

UN warns of Thai housewife HIV/Aids crisis

Bangkok Post Reports: “International Aids campaigners have raised concern over a sharp increase in infections among Thai housewives, fearing the rise of new cases in this formerly low-risk group reflected the country’s complacency in tackling the epidemic. Deborah Landey, deputy executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAids), said the soaring infection rate among housewives was alarming and intervention programmes needed to be urgently scaled up to curb the spread.

…In Thailand, up to 40% of the 18,000 new cases found each year are housewives, which was previously identified as a low-risk group.

Most housewives contract the virus from their promiscuous husbands who have had casual sex.

The number was high compared to so-called high-risk groups, such as men having sex with men (28%) and sex workers (10%).

In response, Public Health Minister Mongkol na Songkhla plans to promote a ”family condom” campaign to encourage married couples to stay monogamous.

An estimated 580,000 adults and children in Thailand were living with HIV at the end of 2005, according to UNAids.”