Access To HIV Treatment, Care Services Improving In Africa, Asia, But Stigma Persists

News outlets publish stories related to HIV/AIDS to mark World AIDS Day, recognized annually on December 1.

Agence France-Presse: Fighting AIDS a top priority in western Kenya
“…In Homa Bay, a remote rural region on the southern shores of Lake Victoria, AIDS is a major problem with studies showing that one in four people are HIV-positive. Every day, a team from the medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) led by Patrick Kibira Ochoro heads out on foot to reach the most isolated areas, going door-to-door in a bid to discuss, persuade, and ultimately convince people to get tested…” (Belaud, 11/30).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Despite treatment advances, AIDS stigma lingers in rural South Africa
“…Over the last decade, an HIV-positive diagnosis has turned from a death sentence to a manageable problem in South Africa, due to cheap, widely available antiretroviral treatment. … But the stigma surrounding the disease has barely budged, particularly in rural areas like Qudeni, a remote village in South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal province where hundreds of children have been left orphaned by the virus…” (Goering, 11/30).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: As they grow up, South African AIDS orphans confront crime, HIV
“…Hunger and poverty are just some of the threats facing the AIDS orphans of Qudeni, a village that, like thousands of other villages in South Africa, is struggling not just with the virus but the aftermath of a generation of parents lost to AIDS. The social fallout from a disease that has left an estimated 2.3 million South African children to be raised without parents is proving particularly hard to manage, experts say…” (Goering, 11/30).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: HIV stigma in Uganda puts mothers and babies at risk
“When Juliet Nalumu, overjoyed at her first pregnancy, visited her local hospital in eastern Uganda for a check-up, it turned into one of the worst days of her life. … Nalumu’s story is not unusual in eastern Uganda — and in many parts of Africa — where women are entirely dependent on their husbands for food, shelter and medicine, and where stigma against AIDS is common…” (Whiting, 11/30).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Myanmar’s HIV patients shunned despite progress in treatment
“…Myanmar has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in Asia. Under reforms by a semi-civilian government since 2011, access to medication has improved compared to a few years ago when cash-strapped clinics had to turn patients away. … Yet the stigma faced by people living with HIV lingers…” (Aung, 11/30).