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May 11, 2006

Fighting HIV/AIDS on the Home Front

A recently discovered cluster of HIV cases in the small British town could serve as a poignant reminder that HIV/AIDS is everyone’s concern and not just something that affects people on the other side of the world. In St. Ives, a seaside resort of about 11,000 people on the southwestern tip of England, doctors have diagnosed about ten new cases of HIV in the last month, an alarming number considering that this outbreak involves roughly 0.1% of the population there, especially in light of the fact that the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the UK in general is 0.1%.

Although much of the coverage has focused on this specific incident, others have focused on the larger picture, placing these recent events within the scope of the worldwide AIDS pandemic. One of these programs was on the UK’s Channel Four News. On the program’s webpage there’s a link to the video news report, which concludes with an informative interview with Mandisa Mbali, a South African Rhodes Scholar currently studying at Oxford University and the secretary of the university’s chapter of the Stop AIDS Society. She speaks of a growing complacency toward HIV/AIDS and the need for more public awareness campaigns that focus on preventing high risk behaviors. The report also explores the interesting ethical question of how one balances patient rights and public awareness in the midst of such an outbreak.

As the number of people living with HIV continues to grow worldwide, including in the UK and the US, it’s important to remember that HIV/AIDS is everyone’s problem, whether we’re addressing the pandemic at home or abroad.

3 Comments:

  • considering that this outbreak involves roughly 0.1% of the population there, especially in light of the fact that the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the UK in general is 0.1%.

    Is one of your percentages out?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu May 11, 01:52:00 PM  

  • No, they are correct. The point is that both numbers are the same. I wouldn't expect that readers would know off the top of their heads how common HIV cases are, so the purpose of that comparison is to put the numbers into perspective. Basically, going by national averages, St. Ives has had it's entire "quota" of HIV cases all in one month.

    By Blogger Nick Anthis, at Thu May 11, 02:02:00 PM  

  • I am HIV+ (AIDS status) and I have started my own private POZ IRC chat server and web server so I can new HIV friends and talk/learn about HIV/AIDS, please drop in and visit me on http://www.13km.com ;)

    By Blogger HIV+DaveyBoy, at Thu May 18, 03:01:00 PM  

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