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Two new primate viruses discovered in humans

Two new retroviruses that are closely related to HIV have been found in humans according to researchers from the John Hopkins University in the US.


Late diagnosis in UK patients a growing concern

A new study has found that many people in the UK are not being diagnosed with HIV until their immune system has reached a critically weakened state.


US bans gay sperm donations

The FDA in the US has banned homosexual men from donating sperm at national sperm banks following fears about possible HIV transmission to recipients. Any man who has had sex with another man within the previous five years will now no longer be able to become an anonymous donor. Restrictions are already in place in many countries that prevent homosexual men from donating blood, but this is the first time the ban has been extended to sperm as well.


Traditional but dangerous: the ritual of widow cleansing

An article in today's New York Times has highlighted how a traditional custom practised in Africa for hundreds of years may be encouraging the transmission of HIV.


Why 3 by 5 may not be a realistic target

An editorial published in this week's edition of The Lancet, has raised questions about the deliverability of the 3 by 5 targets.

3 by 5 is an initiative set up in 2003 by the World Health Organisation. Its aim is to get 3 million people on antiretroviral treatment by the end of 2005. However, despite the mid-term target of 700,000 people having been met at the end of 2004, experts are worried that the figures are misleading, and that expansion of ARV treatment programmes is slowing down rather than speeding up.


Brazil refuses 'strings attached' grant from US

Brazil has officially become the first ever country to reject offers of funding from the American PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) scheme, because of the 'moral' ties attached to the money.


Many gay HIV+ men in New York unaware of status

A study by US health officials has found that just over three-quarters of HIV+ gay and bi-sexual New Yorkers are unaware that they have the virus.

5,600 men aged between 15 and 29 were recruited from shopping malls and parks and bars in the city, and were asked questions about their sexual behaviour, perceptions of their own risk and how often and how recently they had been tested for HIV. They were then asked to give a blood sample for testing.


90% of School Nurse's time spent dealing with sex problems

Nurses at a conference held by The Royal College of Nursing have told how increasing numbers of pupils are coming to them with sex-related worries.

School health workers across the country expressed their concern about the young people in their care who often report feeling pressured into sex at the age of just 12 or 13. Boys in particular have said they frequently feel the only way to prove their masculinity is to have sex.