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. The Changing Face Of AIDS

The report says nearly 5 million people were newly infected in 2005. Sub-Saharan Africa has 25.8 million people living with HIV, by far the world's hardest-hit region.

Atlanta GA (UPI) Dec 01, 2005
The AIDS epidemic officially turns 25 next year, counting from the first report from the Centers for Disease Control in June 1981. On this World AIDS Day it's worth taking a moment to reflect on how the epidemic has changed since those early deaths of gay men in New York and Los Angeles.

-- A column in Thursday's Chicago Tribune is headlined: "The New Face of HIV/AIDS: Black Women."

Writes the Tribune's Dawn Turner Trice: "In Chicago, according to the city Department of Public Health, African-American women made up 78 percent of newly diagnosed HIV cases among women from 2002 to 2003, even though they made up only 37 percent of the female population."

To encourage black women to get tested, several groups are going into beauty parlors and other women-oriented businesses to spread the word.

-- Minorities in general, the disadvantaged and the young are becoming the locus of the epidemic. The nation's capital, which is predominantly black, has the highest AIDS rate in the United States. Metro TeenAIDS reports there are up to 3,500 youth under 20 in the Washington area infected with HIV.

"I think that our city systems fail young people, and have consistently been failing young people in a number of ways," the group's executive director, Adam Tenner, told MetroWeekly. "We do have some wonderful services, but in the capital of the richest country in the world, the fact that we have the highest HIV rate in the country is shameful and disheartening."

He said some of the city's most disadvantaged young people "don't believe their lives are worthy of avoiding HIV. They believe they're going to get shot walking down the street to 7-11. That's a far greater, more real risk to them than a disease that might get them sick 10 years down the road."

Worldwide, the group said, 250 teens an hour are infected, two of them in the United States.

-- As that last statistic shows, the biggest change in AIDS is its spread around the world, where at least 40.3 million people are living with HIV, according to the United Nations. About 25 million people already have died.

The World Health Organization, in partnership with UNAIDS, last week released the 2005 "AIDS Epidemic Update" on the latest global AIDS developments (www.who.int), reports UPI's Anna Carbino.

The report says nearly 5 million people were newly infected in 2005. Sub-Saharan Africa has 25.8 million people living with HIV, by far the world's hardest-hit region.

-- There are signs the disease may be gaining momentum again in the first, hardest-hit group: gay men.

New infections among gay and bisexual men jumped 8 percent last year, the CDC said. That followed three level years and is in contrast with declines in the rate among heterosexuals and injection-drug users, the Washington Times reported.

The times quoted the CDC as saying that the increased rate might simply reflect more testing but that it also is "consistent with reported increases in risk behaviors and syphilis."

"We don't know for certain, but we're concerned. That 8 percent increase (between 2003 and 2004) was consistent across all race groups," said the CDC's Dr. Ron Valdiserri.

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Needle Free Immunizations
Santa Barbara CA (SPX) Dec 01, 2005
Samir Mitragotri, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, says the myriad shortcomings of injections have led to active research and development of needle-free methods of immunization.

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