For the first time since the 1980s, the CDC estimates that there are more than 1 million people living with HIV in the United States.
[MSNBC link, but the article is actually good.] This is good news and bad, it means more people are living with the disease with the help of Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART)
, of which there are just over 20 drugs in 4 different classes. The CDC has recently launched a new prevention initiative
targeted at people with the disease, rather than at convincing HIV- people to avoid contracting it. Central to the new effort are increased HIV surveillance methods, which basically boil down to increased testing (in the case of pregnant mothers, testing they would have to opt out of) and reporting of HIV positive testees. This despite the fact that there is plenty of evidence that HIV discrimination is alive
The other discouraging news is that despite the success of HAART for controlling HIV, the adverse effects are significant, including much higher rates of heart attack and cardiac disease
, increased incidence of diabetes and insulin resistance
and very noticeable changes to how people look, lactic acidosis
, as well as the more standard (and less toxic) problems of nausea and diarrhea. Up to 50% of people on HAART will experience these problems.
posted by OmieWise
on Jun 13, 2005 -
July, 2004 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic:
"The HIV epidemic is worse than ever." "As the AIDS pandemic enters its 24th year, the number of people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection continues to increase steadily.
Two thirds of infected persons are in Africa, where the epidemic exploded during the 1990s, and one fifth are in Asia, where the epidemic has been growing rapidly in recent years." A new report
from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS shows that ""in short, the epidemic is outstripping efforts to contain it."
"We're talking about more than 8,000 deaths every single day and in the war against AIDS we know the tools that work, we know the sorts of intervention that work, and if an administration is choosing other than these, and is doing less than it ought, then they're absolutely responsible."
As prevention fails and more people die, some are "still insisting that only brand-name AIDS drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,
most of them manufactured by big U.S. pharmaceutical companies, can be bought by beneficiaries of U.S. aid, despite the fact they are as much as five times more expensive as their generic equivalents manufactured in poor countries."
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Jul 8, 2004 -
She's 17? That'll Be One Cow Please, Your Majesty
The king of Swaziland imposed a ban on having sex with any female under the age of 18, in hopes of curbing the nation's growing rate of HIV infections. But he just married a 17 year old girl. (His 9th wife.) His penalty? One cow, as per the rules of the sex ban. The cow was roasted and eaten by a group of 300 young women who marched to the palace to protest the marriage. My question is - how does a cow make up for possibly infecting a young woman with HIV? (I'm not suggesting that the king is infected, but if he were, what good would the cow do?)
posted by Dreama
on Nov 12, 2001 -