News / Asia

    Suu Kyi Boosts Fight Against HIV During Australia Visit

    Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi makes a speech at the launch of the AIDS 2014 world conference in Melbourne, Australia, Dec. 1, 2013.
    Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi makes a speech at the launch of the AIDS 2014 world conference in Melbourne, Australia, Dec. 1, 2013.
    Phil Mercer
    Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi has highlighted progress in the battle against HIV in a World AIDS Day event in Australia.  The Burmese democracy leader is a U.N. Aids Goodwill Ambassador.  Australian campaigners say Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit is helping to boost international efforts to eradicate HIV.

    ​About 34 million people around the world are HIV positive, but global rates of infection are gradually falling.  New cases among adults and children were estimated at 2.3 million in 2012, which is a reduction of a third in a decade.

    Aung San Suu Kyi is part of international efforts to combat the stigma and discrimination that often surrounds the disease.  Her appearance in Melbourne has officially started the countdown to the 20th International AIDS Conference that the southern Australian city will host next July. 

    A daughter takes care of her HIV suffering mother as she rests in an HIV/AIDS shelter on the outskirts of Rangoon, Burma, Nov. 30, 2013.A daughter takes care of her HIV suffering mother as she rests in an HIV/AIDS shelter on the outskirts of Rangoon, Burma, Nov. 30, 2013.
    x
    A daughter takes care of her HIV suffering mother as she rests in an HIV/AIDS shelter on the outskirts of Rangoon, Burma, Nov. 30, 2013.
    A daughter takes care of her HIV suffering mother as she rests in an HIV/AIDS shelter on the outskirts of Rangoon, Burma, Nov. 30, 2013.
    In Aung San Suu Kyi's home country, Burma, 200,000 people live with HIV and AIDS. Most are drug users, sex workers or gay men who live on the fringes of society without adequate treatment.

    But in Australia, doctors said the number of new cases was at a 20-year high.  Young gay men are most at risk; a group that seems to be ignoring decades of public health advice.  Researchers say it is a trend that is being seen in many parts of the world.

    Every day, about three Australians contract HIV, mostly through unsafe sex. 

    Professor Sharon Lewin is the director of the Department of Infectious Diseases at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.

    “We currently know that there are 25,000 people living with HIV in Australia.  Last year there were 1,200 new infections and in fact it's the highest number of new infections that we've seen for 20 years in Australia.  And the causes we're still determining but it is most likely related to increasing high-risk behavior; probably some complacency about the seriousness of the diagnosis,” said Lewin.

    AIDS deaths, global, 2001-2012AIDS deaths, global, 2001-2012
    x
    AIDS deaths, global, 2001-2012
    AIDS deaths, global, 2001-2012
    Without treatment, doctors said HIV was “a universal death sentence,” but modern therapies were effective and easy to administer.  They often involve just one tablet a day that contains three anti-HIV medicines.

    Access to clean needles in Australia has sharply reduced the spread of the disease among people who inject drugs.  The policy was introduced in the early 1980s.  Australia’s success is in sharp contrast to Thailand, where up to 50 percent of intravenous drugs users are HIV positive.

    World AIDS Day is observed on December 1 in more than 120 countries.

    You May Like

    Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: nguyen manh hung from: viet nam
    December 02, 2013 5:11 AM
    It is very kind of the leader ,Suu Kyi.She protested against army governent and at last won,take country to democracy.From now on,burmeses live in religion free,speech free and so on,while vietnamese are ruled by communists who are very cruel ,bloody.We are very miserable,I HOpe that one day communists willbe knocked out of Viet Nam

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora