the HIVe

collecting HIV/AIDS info for my community

Archive for the ‘unaids’ Category

UNAIDS December 2006 update

Posted by Rouvanne van den Berg on May 11, 2007

We are part of history in the making… 

unaids_logo_en.jpg“The HIV epidemics in Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland continue to grow. An estimated one in three (33%) adults in Swaziland was living with HIV in 2005—the most intense epidemic in the world.

In South Africa, which in terms of sheer numbers has one of the world’s largest HIV epidemics, prevalence of HIV among women attending public antenatal clinics was more than one third (35%) higher in 2005 than it had been in 1999. While HIV infection levels among young pregnant women appear to be stabilizing, they continue to increase among older women.

The epidemic is having a significant impact. Death rates from natural causes for women aged 25–34 years increased fivefold between 1997 and 2004, and for males aged 30–44 they more than doubled. A large part of those increases is due to the AIDS epidemic.”

In some parts of the continent, something seems to be working…

“In East Africa, where HIV infection levels have been lower than in the south of the continent, the general trend of a stabilizing or a declining HIV prevalence appears to be continuing.

National HIV prevalence among pregnant women has declined in Kenya, as it has in Tanzania and, to a lesser extent, in Rwanda. “

I am sure that war and political instability has had effects…

“Meanwhile, new research indicates a possible erosion of the gains Uganda made against AIDS in the 1990s, and HIV prevalence has again been rising in some rural areas. A sudden increase in infection levels among pregnant women in 2005 in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, could reverse the general, post–2000 decline in HIV prevalence in that country.

West and Central Africa’s smaller epidemics show divergent trends. There are signs of declining HIV prevalence in urban parts of Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, but in Mali the HIV epidemic appears to be growing. A recent development in sub-Saharan Africa is the emergence of injecting drug use as a potential factor in the HIV epidemics of several countries, notably those of Kenya and Tanzania (as well as Nigeria and South Africa).” 

Here comes a major point – denial. This disease can no longer be said to belong to another race, gender, religious persuasion or sexual preference, and far too many people are going to get infected because of pure ignorance! 

“A large proportion of South Africans do not believe they are at risk of becoming infected with HIV. Some 13% of the persons who took their first HIV test in the 2005 national household survey were found to be HIV-positive. Until then, most of them had declined to take an HIV test because they felt they were at no risk of infection.

Overall, half the respondents who were found to be infected with HIV had reported that they felt they were at no risk of acquiring HIV. Approximately two million South Africans living with HIV do not know that they are infected and believe they face no danger of becoming infected—and therefore are unaware that they can transmit the virus to others.”

UNAIDS AIDS epidemic update – December 2006

Scary stuff.

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HIV/Aids, willing to learn more

Posted by Rouvanne van den Berg on May 11, 2007

blog1.gifThis afternoon I realized to myself, that no matter how I think I know about HIV/Aids, there is so much more to learn, more to understand, and so much to tell other people. We all think we know about this pandemic, or as Nelson Mandela described it, this Human Rights issue, but when confronted with the disease, how much do you really know?

I was very fortunate to be able to speak to Professors Jan du Toit & Jimmy Earl Perry, from the Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management at Stellenbosch University today, but was horrified by some of the statistics that were thrown onto the table.

040215.gifThere are still so many stigma’s attached to the disease, and I think that many will be surprised about how many people just don’t give a damn about the consequences of their actions – mostly actions at the heat of the moment, when the air is thick and musty with the passion of desire – that’s when everything read or heard is thrown aside with the clothes, and the game of Russian roulette begins.

I have people in my life who have tested HIV positive. Some are acquaintances, others are close, a part of my life. It isn’t a case of this being an unfortunate affliction that you’ll only read about in the papers, or see some poor soul suffering from on television. Look around you. It is everywhere, and if it hasn’t affected you already, be prepared – it will.

africa.gifThe 2006 global UNAIDS report states that: One third (32%) of all people with HIV globally live in southern Africa and 34% of all deaths due to AIDS in 2006 occurred there.

Yet, those that are infected, also need to be sure that they know everything there is to know; whether about nutrition, exercise and a healthy life-style; or what drugs are available on the market and how they affect this disease. We need to hear stories of inspiration, or people that make the most of their condition, and life.

There is so much going on around the world, so many debates, and so much research, I hope to be able to make some sense for all.

HIV/Aids is here to stay – so what can you do about it?

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