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UN to end support of needle exchange programmes?

Harm reduction and needle exchange programmes have always been a backbone of the UN's policy on the prevention of HIV transmission among injecting drug users. However, according to a letter leaked to the press recently, all this could be about to change.

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Record levels of HIV reported in Scotland

The number of Scots living with HIV has hit an all time high, with 365 new cases being diagnosed last year, compared to the 258 cases diagnosed in 2003. The previous record was set back in 1986 when HIV first came to light as a serious issue and 348 people tested positive.

It is estimated that 2,800 are now living with HIV in the country, although many experts estimate that this figure is actually much higher, as it only includes people who have had a test.

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Former UK Culture Secretary reveals HIV+ status

Tony Blair’s former culture secretary, Chris Smith has admitted he is HIV positive, and has been for the last seventeen years.

Smith, who was the first ever MP to be open about his homosexuality, said he was inspired to reveal his status following Nelson Mandela’s recent announcement that his son had died of AIDS. He admitted that there was still ignorance and “quite a lot of prejudice around about HIV,” but hoped that by being open about his condition, people would begin to understand that it was an illness just like any other.

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Nearly half of Black Americans believe HIV is man-made

A new study released today by the Rand Corporation and the University of Oregon has discovered that nearly half of all black Americans believe HIV is a man-made virus, with many convinced it was genetically engineered by the government to wipe out the Afro-Caribbean population.

The shocking results have demonstrated a mistrust of the US government on a scale that many had not anticipated. Laura Bogart, a behavioural scientist and co-author on the study agreed that the findings were “striking, and a wake-up call to the prevention community.”

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WHO announces progress on 3 by 5 targets

A new report published by the World Health Organisation today shows that 700,000 people in the countries worst affected by HIV and AIDS are now on antiretroviral treatment. However, the target of getting 3 million people on the life saving therapy by the end of this year is still far from being reached.

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