AIDS Epidemic Update: December 2004 by World Health Organization

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In most cities where injecting drug users have been surveyed, at least one quarter of them—and, in Chennai, 46%— 37 UNAIDS/WHO said they lived with a wife or regular sex partner (MAP, 2004). This has probably contributed to the fact that Chennai also has among the highest HIV-prevalence rates among pregnant women in the country. It is likely that many of those women were infected by partners who injected drugs. Like Manipur, the states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have long-established HIV epidemics, but theirs are driven mainly by commercial sex.

However, it is too early to know whether this heralds a trend, since other HIV indicators (such as prevalence among sex workers) have remained low. 2004). Ethiopia’s epidemic is most severe in urban areas, including in the capital Addis Ababa. However, there are encouraging signs that the declining HIV trend among pregnant women in the capital (first detected in 1997) is continuing. By 2003, HIV prevalence in the city had fallen to 11%, less than half the level (24%) it had reached in the mid-1990s.

The most recent round of HIV surveillance indicates that the HIV epidemic is not abating either. 9% in the parishes of St. James and of Kingston and St. Andrews, respectively. High HIV prevalence found among patients at sexually transmitted infection clinics in 2002 seemed to confirm earlier warnings of widespread unprotected sex; almost 8% of men attending these clinics were HIV-positive, as were almost 5% of women (Ministry of Health Jamaica, 2003). 3% (Kumar and Singh, 2004). Mother-tochild transmission of HIV has also been reduced since the expansion of voluntary counselling and testing services, and the provision of antiretroviral prevention regimens.

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