November 8, 2013 | The Editors

HIV spreading among some groups

Banner with a red cartoon depiction of HIV.
HIV is on the rise in some communities. Photo: PATH/Claire Suni.

Since the early years of the 21st century, much of the news about HIV/AIDS has been encouraging. In many places, funding for diagnosis and treatment has increased, as has the number of people getting treatment. Transmission of HIV from mothers to infants has fallen while lifespans have soared. But a couple of stories this week remind us that the good news doesn’t extend to everyone.

The HIV rebound no one is discussing

PBS NewsHour, November 5, 2013

The world needs more prostitutes like Hawa Abdallah. At least that’s what many public health officials believe. . .a series of simple steps have kept Abdallah healthy until now: She knows how HIV spreads. She is tested regularly. And she’s confident enough to insist that her customers use condoms every time. Just as importantly, she’s managed to avoid the assault, arbitrary arrest, and extortion that plague the profession. Health officials say that unless more prostitutes start fitting a similar profile, the world doesn’t stand a chance at beating back the virus.

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HIV “wave” feared in Central Asia

Inter Press Service, November 4, 2013

Health care systems in Eastern Europe and Central Asia remain woefully unable to cope with HIV/AIDS as the region’s raging epidemic—the fastest growing in the world—takes on a new dimension, a senior UN official has told IPS. Until now the Eastern Europe and Central Asia epidemic had been driven by injection drug use. But data and anecdotal evidence has shown a strong rise in the spread of the disease through heterosexual transmission as well as via men who have sex with men—potentially throwing up a new set of challenges for governments and health care ministers.

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A promise is a promise

Impatient Optimists, October 31, 2013

We teach our children about the importance of keeping promises, but the best way to communicate this is by keeping our promises to them. In 2011, my organization, the GAVI Alliance, held its first ever pledging conference in London, an historic meeting where we committed to help developing countries immunize an additional quarter of a billion children by 2015, and prevent four million future deaths in the process. As chair of the GAVI Alliance Board, I’m proud to say that, midway through, GAVI is on track to keep those promises.

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