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There are 33 million people with AIDS worldwide

By Clemente Ferrer   Clemente Ferrer

 

The pioneers of research on Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) were French doctors Luc Montagnier and Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, shared with the German researcher Harald zur Hausen, determined the human papillomavirus.

The cruel scourge of AIDS kills about 2.8 million lives each year throughout the world, especially in developing countries.

Homosexual practices are illegal in the Middle East and North Africa. Men who are caught having sex with other men can be punished with imprisonment or capital punishment. However, many gay assume the legal risk, but are not aware of another danger: the AIDS virus.

In recent years, the contagion has spread among men to be an emerging epidemic. Although not the first route of infection, it is responsible for 25% of the new infections. A fact that, according to the authors of the studies of the Group of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases in the Cornell University (Qatar), “requires urgent action”.

“It remains a hidden epidemic, but increasingly large”, refers to the study published in the journal PLoS Medicine. Gender segregation, the difficulty of finding women for marriage and overcrowding, according to the study, promote casual sex.

In countries where it is illegal, gays incur more risk practices. They have multiple partners and also often use drugs they injected. While most have heard of the AIDS virus, are not considered at risk of infection. The New Jersey Republican Congressman Christopher H. Smith, working for the State Department and the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States, highlighted the positive impact of campaigns on abstinence before marriage and fidelity after, in Uganda, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

On the other hand, in Geneva was presented the Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic, at the end of three decades of the deadly virus, which causes more 7,500 new transmissions per day. It is clear from the data that each year 147 states send to the UN plan on the disease. Estimates are that the number of new infected by the virus of death will increase by 3.5 million in 2015.

The study shows that last year around the globe there were about 33 million people with the AIDS virus, of which 15.5 million are women.

All actions for the prevention of AIDS, according to the World Summit of Ministers of Health, must respect “human and spiritual values”, and  protect “the human rights and the dignity of the person”.

Author and journalist Clemente Ferrer has led a distinguished career in Spain in the fields of advertising and public relations. He is currently President of the European Institute of Marketing. clementeferrer3@gmail.com

 

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