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

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

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.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs