Friday October 20, 2017

Film actors to promote AIDS awareness campaign

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Hyderabad: Global NGO TeachAIDS on Monday said it has roped in 22 leading Indian film actors to create instructional animated multi-media content to promote HIV education, especially in schools.

Launched on the eve of world AIDS Day, the material is available free of cost for all on the NGO’s website.

Indian-American Stanford University lecturer and social activist Piya Sorcar, the founder of TeacherAIDS, told reporters that they have also made 100,000 CDs for distribution among state AIDS control societies, schools, hospitals, and counseling centres.

Amitabh Bachchan, Akkineni Nagarjuna, Shabana Azmi, Suhashini Maniratnam, Anushka Shetty, Sudeep, Suriya, Imran Khan and Shruti Hassan have given their voice for the animations to promote HIV prevention among Indian youth.

The material has been prepared in seven languages – Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Assamese, Odia and English.

Trustee Amala Akkineni said they embarked on the project following the good feedback from a Telugu CD prepared in 2011.

Sorcar said through in-depth research and intensive localization, the NGO creates state-of-the-art HIV education materials and makes them available for free and accessible to those who need them most.

She said the initiative would go a long way in promoting awareness among school children as the teachers feel shy to discuss the subject.

“We are humbled that this initiative has the support of the most iconic cultural figures of India who have donated their voices and personalities to this movement,” she said.

C. Partha Sarathi, former project director of Andhra State AIDS Control Society, said the response to the TeachAIDS software created earlier was spectacular and filled a learning gap among children which was missing.

Telangana’s Information Technology Secretary Jayesh Ranjan said the content would be shown at Digital Telangana kiosks coming up across the state.

Spun out of Stanford University, TeachAIDS (www.teachaids.org) is a nonprofit social venture that creates breakthrough software solving numerous persistent problems in HIV and AIDS prevention around the world.

(IANS)

(Picture credit:image.dramatize.com)

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HIV Infected Smokers More likely to die of lung cancer than AIDS, Reveals Indian-origin Researcher

Smoking kills! A recent research reveals a vicious reality about the people infected with HIV, who loves to smoke, are more likely to die from lung cancer than from AIDS.

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lung cancer
Cigarette smoking is injurious to health. Pixabay

New York, September 20, 2017: People living with HIV who adhere to antiretroviral therapy, but smoke tobacco cigarettes are more likely to die from lung cancer than from AIDS, a study led by an Indian-origin researcher has revealed.

The findings showed that overall people with HIV who take antiviral medicines, but who also smoke are six to 13 times more likely to die from lung cancer than from HIV/AIDS, depending on the intensity of smoking and their sex.

“Smoking and HIV are a particularly bad combination when it comes to lung cancer,” said lead author Krishna Reddy, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

“Lung cancer is now one of the leading killers of people with HIV, but most of these deaths can be prevented,” added Rochelle Walensky, Professor at Harvard Medical School.

Among men who continued to be heavy smokers, an estimated 29 percent would die of lung cancer by age 80, as would 23 per cent of moderate smokers and 19 per cent of light smokers.

For women who continued to be heavy smokers, an estimated 29 percent would die of lung cancer by age 80, as would 21 per cent of moderate smokers and 17 per cent of light smokers.

“The data tell us that now is the time for action: smoking cessation programmes should be integrated into HIV care just like antiviral therapy,” Reddy said in the paper published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

However, among those who managed to quit smoking at age 40, only about six per cent die of lung cancer.

“Quitting smoking is one of the most important things that people with HIV can do to improve their health and live longer,” suggested Travis Baggett, Assistant Professor at the Harvard Medical School.

ALSO READ: Cases of Glaucoma show a rising trend in India, can be caused by Smoking: Doctors

Besides reducing the risk of lung cancer, quitting will also decrease their risk of other diseases such as heart attack, stroke and emphysema, the researchers said. (IANS)

 

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Zero Discrimination Day: UN agency urges people to ‘make noise’ against HIV/AIDS discrimination

Each year on March 1, the world marks Zero Discrimination Day “to highlight how everyone can be part of the transformation and take a stand for a fair and just society

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HIV/AIDS, VOA

United Nations, March 2, 2017: The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) on Wednesday marked Zero Discrimination Day with a “Make Some Noise” campaign, urging people to speak up against discrimination.

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“Discrimination takes many forms, and can be based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or age,” Xinhua news agency quoted UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric as saying.

“For this year’s campaign, UNAIDS is putting particular focus on the need for zero discrimination in health-care settings,” Dujarric added.

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According to UNAIDS, people living with disabilities are nearly three times more likely to be denied health-care than other people.

“Healthcare settings should be safe and supportive environments. It is unacceptable that discrimination is inhibiting access to care today,” said Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of the UNAIDS, in his message for Zero Discrimination Day.

Each year on March 1, the world marks Zero Discrimination Day “to highlight how everyone can be part of the transformation and take a stand for a fair and just society,” the UN agency said in a press release.

“Eliminating discrimination in health-care settings is critical, and we must demand that it become a reality,” Sidibe added.

The right to health is a fundamental human right that includes access to affordable, timely and quality health-care services for all, yet discrimination remains widespread in health-care settings, creating a serious barrier to access to HIV services.

Data from 50 countries from the People Living with HIV Stigma Index cited by UNAIDS show that one in eight people living with HIV report being denied health care.

Around 60 per cent of European Union/European Economic Area countries report that stigma and discrimination among health-care professionals remains a barrier to the provision of adequate HIV prevention services for men who have sex with men and people who inject drugs.

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“Everyone has the right to be treated with respect, to live free from discrimination, coercion and abuse,” said Sidibe.

“Discrimination doesn’t just hurt individuals it hurts everyone, whereas welcoming and embracing diversity in all its forms brings benefits for all,” Sidibe added. (IANS)

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World Aids Day : World Health Organization (WHO) Issues New Guidelines on HIV Self-Testing

This year, World Health Organization (WHO) issued new guidelines on HIV self-testing

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Representational image. (Twitter)

December 1, 2016: For nearly three decades every December 1 is observed as World Aids Day. AIDS has killed 35 million people since the start of the pandemic. It has left millions of  the orphans in its wake. Every year, 2 million people acquire the virus, and the U.N. estimates that more than 1 million people die from the virus annually.

Taboos related to sex and AIDS is so deep rooted that often people shy away even testing HIV. So this year, World Health Organization (WHO) issued new guidelines on HIV self-testing.

• According to the latest WHO progress report, “lack of an HIV diagnosis is a major obstacle to implementing the Organization’s recommendation that everyone with HIV should be offered antiretroviral therapy (ART).”

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• “Millions of people with HIV are still missing out on life-saving treatment, which can also prevent HIV transmission to others,” said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan in the release.

• The easy self-testing kit will give the results in just “20 minutes”.

• The WHO report says, “HIV self-testing means people can use oral fluid or blood- finger-pricks to discover their status in a private and convenient setting.”

• The basic care facility and counseling centers to help the patients is already ensured by the UN. Not only that, they would also help the patients to fight against the social stigma which is attached to it.

• The report also focuses on how testing is low among people who are involved in the same-sex relationships, sex workers, transgender, drug addicts and prisoners.

• WHO’s self-testing kits are provided by for free. It also supports other measures that would help people get other such kits at low prices.

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• The release highlights, “HIV self-testing is a way to reach more people with undiagnosed HIV and represents a step forward to empower individuals, diagnose people earlier before they become sick, bring services closer to where people live, and create demand for HIV testing. This is particularly important for those people facing barriers to accessing existing services.”

• WHO hopes that this will have a positive impact and it will be helping those is affected. The organization also urged all the nations to come together and fight, in order to end it by 2030.

– by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram with inputs from various agencies. Twitter: @PinazKazi