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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”


HIV/Aids Barometer - March 2003

Estimated Worldwide HIV Infections: 51 218 159 At 10.24am On Wednesday March 19

Unsafe sex: The World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNAids have rejected claims that injections with reused needles are responsible for many cases of HIV infection in Africa.

After a recent investigation the two groups say that unsafe sexual practices continue to be responsible for the majority of HIV infections.

The WHO estimates that unsafe injection practices account for about 2,5% of HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa.

Research published in the International Journal of STD & Aids had claimed that a third of HIV cases were transmitted by unsafe heterosexual sex, but that unsafe medical practices, such as injections and blood transfusions using unsterile needles, had proved to be a much greater risk.


Michael Adler, a professor at University College London Medical School, was reported in the British Medical Journal early this month saying: "It's true there was a problem with infected needles in the 1980s, but it was nowhere near as big a factor as they suggest."

Estimated worldwide HIV infections: 51 116 929 at 9.40am on Wednesday March 12

Diabetes link: HIV-positive women taking protease inhibitors are three times more likely to develop diabetes than HIV-positive women on non-protease inhibitor combinations or HIV-negative women, according to a United States study published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

Investigators assessed 1435 HIV-positive women and 350 HIV-negative women with similar HIV risk factors as controls to determine the relationship between diabetes and the use of anti-HIV drugs, virologic response to therapy, age and weight. Sixty-nine new cases of diabetes were reported among the participants.

The risk of developing diabetes did not seem to be linked to either virologic response to therapy or weight gain while on anti-HIV drugs. A virologic response to therapy occurred in 25% of diabetic patients, in 28% of non-diabetic patients not treated with protease inhibitors, and in 53% of diabetic and 52% of non-diabetic patients treated with protease inhibitors.