Campaigners try to break sex taboos to fight HIV in South Sudan | AFP

The ‘Condomize’ campaign in South Sudan aims to break taboos surrounding sex and sex education by distributing over 5,000 condoms and sensitise its importance to the youth. Taboos have been considered as the major drivers behind the spread of HIV, for which the campaign has also set up testing and counselling rooms.

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Hondurans living with HIV find support in mountain shelter | AFP

Hondurans living with HIV/AIDS are finding help and support in a private shelter nestled in the mountains near the capital Tegucigalpa, as the country continues to grapple with the disease.

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Morocco makes headway against HIV but stigma remains | AFP

In Morocco, the struggle against HIV has been so successful in recent years that campaigners worry about losing funding for combatting the virus, but for people living with the disease it remains a heavy stigma.

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HIV outbreak sparks panic in Southern Pakistan

Hundreds of people in a village in southern Pakistan have allegedly been infected with HIV by a doctor using a contaminated syringe. Health officials say more than 400 people, many of them children, have tested HIV positive in recent weeks as experts warn of a surge in infection rates across Pakistan, due to the use of unsanitary equipment and rampant malpractice — often at the hands of quack doctors.

Doctors describe possible second HIV cure

During a HIV conference, a London-based researcher presented the case of a second patient who has lived 18 months after stopping HIV treatment without sign of the virus following a stem-cell transplant, a possible second case of HIV being cured. (Mar 5)

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UN ‘greatly encouraged’ by news of HIV remission case

Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General says the ‘Joint United Nations’ Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS)’ is “greatly encouraged” by news that a patient is in sustained remission from HIV. Ten years almost to the day since the first confirmed case of an HIV-infected person being rid of the deadly disease, a man known only as the “London patient” has shown no sign of the virus for nearly 19 months, doctors reported in the journal Nature.

AIDS group wary of Trump pledge to end HIV by 2030

In his State of the Union address, President Trump pledged to end the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2030. But that pledge is being greeted with skepticism by some AIDS researchers and non-profits. (Feb. 6)

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8 Takeaways From Trump’s 2019 State Of The Union

President Trump delivered his second State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday night. Initially scheduled for last month, his speech was postponed because of the partial government shutdown — the repercussion for his demand that Congress pay for a wall along the US-Mexico border.  Trump’s main points focused on unemployment, immigration and border control, healthcare, and foreign policy. If you missed his speech, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know in the video above.

Following is a transcript of the video.

President Trump: Members of Congress: the State of our Union is strong.

[“USA” chants]

Victory is not winning for our party. Victory is winning for our country.

1. More Jobs

In just over 2 years since the election, we have launched an unprecedented economic boom. We have created 5.3 million new jobs and importantly added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs…Unemployment has reached the lowest rate in over half a century. More people are working now than at any time in the history of our country — 157 million at work. 

2. More women in the workforce

All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before. 

3. Prison sentencing reform

My Administration worked closely with members of both parties to sign the First Step Act into law. This legislation reformed sentencing laws that have wrongly and disproportionately harmed the African-American community. The First Step Act gives non-violent offenders the chance to re-enter society as productive, law-abiding citizens.

4. Immigration and border control

Now is the time for Congress to show the world that America is committed to ending illegal immigration and putting the ruthless coyotes, cartels, drug dealers, and human traffickers out of business.As we speak, large, organized caravans are on the march to the United States. We have just heard that Mexican cities, in order to remove the illegal immigrants from their communities, are getting trucks and buses to bring them up to our country in areas where there is little border protection. I have ordered another 3,750 troops to our southern border to prepare for this tremendous onslaught. I want people to come into our country in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally.

5. Lower drug costs

In 2018, drug prices experienced their single largest decline in 46 years. It is unacceptable that Americans pay vastly more than people in other countries for the exact same drugs, often made in the exact same place. I am asking Congress to pass legislation that finally takes on the problem of global freeloading and delivers fairness and price transparency for American patients, finally.

6. Prohibit late-term abortion

To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.

7. Eliminate HIV/AIDS by 2030

My budget will ask Democrats and Republicans to make the needed commitment to eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States within 10 years. We have made incredible strides, incredible. 

8. North Korean relations

If I had not been elected President of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea. Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one. Chairman Kim and I will meet again on February 27th and 28th in Vietnam.

——————————————————

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8 Takeaways From Trump’s 2019 State Of The Union

Miss Philippines crowned Miss Universe 2018

(17 Dec 2018) Filipina Catriona Gray, who was crowned Miss Universe 2018 at the final in Bangkok, says her first project will involve HIV awareness and reiterates her backing of medicinal marijuana. (Dec. 17)

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Zara Larsson’s sex education classes

(7 Nov 2018) Swedish pop star Zara Larsson, who’s currently fronting a new campaign from Durex and AIDS organization (RED) promoting sexual health awareness and raising money for HIV treatment in South Africa, says pupils at her school first started learning about sex in sixth grade. (Nov. 7)

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Chilean woman with HIV sounds cautionary note for youth

Carolina del Real, 37, who was diagnosed as seropositive seven years ago, now devotes her time to teaching people about prevention, in a country where more promiscuous, liberated and frequently careless young Chileans are shattering taboos about sexuality in their country, sparking an explosion of HIV cases that has alarmed authorities.

Iowans Are Trying To Legalize An Underground Needle Exchange (HBO)

In Iowa, a spike in opioid abuse among people under 30 is causing another public health crisis: cases of Hepatitis C — a virus that attacks the liver — are up 375 percent according to the CDC.

To combat the problem, a group of Iowans has been operating an underground needle exchange. And now, they’re lobbying for a bill to legalize that effort. Under state law, it’s illegal to possess or distribute clean syringes for an “unlawful” purpose.

The Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition, founded in 2016 by medical student Sarah Ziegenhorn, 29, provides weekly outreach services in cities across Iowa by distributing safer injection kits, condoms and test kits for HIV and hepatitis C. The clean syringes, provided by partnering non-profit Prairie Works, are handed out discreetly from the back of a car.

More than 30 states have legalized distribution of needles and Iowa could be next if the bill, slated for a vote in the Senate next week, continues its journey to the governor’s office. Ziegenhorn is a weekly fixture at state capitol, leading the charge and drawing numbers of constituents to bring the issue to the attention of legislatures.

This is the second attempt to legalize in a state where there are very few opioid related regulations or policies in place. Many legislators believe the presence of needle exchange programs would encourage drug use and prevent proper law enforcement.

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New Delhi marks condom day

New Delhi marks International Condom Day with costumes decorated with condoms, volunteers dressed as condoms and lots of free condoms. The event is organised by AIDS Healthcare Foundation to raise awareness about sexually transmitted diseases (STD) like HIV and prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Scientists Use Gene Therapy to Fight HIV

Gene therapy has scored wins against some rare blood diseases and even a form of blindness. Now scientists are trying it for a much more common foe, HIV, the virus that causes AID. (Feb. 13)

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Ignorance over HIV in Russia sees emergence of so-called ‘denialists’

Russia is struggling to cope with a growing HIV epidemic.
Making matters worse is the emergence of people in the country who deny the disease even exists.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle complete first joint royal visit

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wave to well-wishers after visiting an HIV charity, the Terrence Higgins Trust, in Nottingham on World AIDS Day. This marks their first joint royal visit since announcing their engagement. IMAGES