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The AIDS Epidemic Continues Due To Stigma, Fear And Ignorance

The biggest thing that we've learned for preventing HIV in the last decades is that there is no magic bullet.

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HIV AIDS, Pakistan
A patient is seen in a ward at the state-run Lavra clinic, Ukraine's main HIV treatment center, in Kyiv. VOA

As the 30th World AIDS Day approaches, the World Health Organization says fear, stigma and ignorance are the reasons the AIDS epidemic is not over, because doctors can treat HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

With treatment, no one needs to die from AIDS, and those with the virus can’t give it to someone else. In addition, with prevention therapy, no one needs to get infected.

Dr. Jared Baeten, an HIV specialist at the University of Washington, says even with these tools more people still contract the HIV virus and eventually die from AIDS each year, “because the ability to deliver those at the scale and with the coverage needed to be able to get HIV to go away is not nearly where it should be.”

Nearly a million people still die every year from AIDS. Professor Steffani Strathdee at the University of California San Diego says one of the biggest challenges is that HIV often affects people on the fringes of some societies around the world.

“There are populations all over the world that are underserved and these include injection drug users and sex workers, in particular,” she said.

It also includes men who have sex with men, transgender people, prisoners and the sexual partners of these people. Strathdee says people who are hungry or need shelter are more concerned about their immediate needs than they are about HIV.

HIV, AIDS,
A man walks past a banner tied on a bus before the start of a charity walk on HIV/AIDS at the Ebute Mata district in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos, April 21, 2012. (VOA)

“My research and research in this field really shows you have to address the whole person and their needs in order to address HIV as one of their health concerns,” she said.

Strathdee says unless this happens, countries will have to bear the heavy social and economic costs of AIDS.

In addition, Baeten says testing and treatment have to be available to everyone.

Also Read: Melania Trump Calls Opioid Epidemic The’ Worst Drug Crisis’ In American History

“The biggest thing that we’ve learned for preventing HIV in the last decades is that there is no magic bullet, but when you put a whole bunch of really good things together and it has exactly the kind of impact that a magic bullet can give you,” he said.

Scientists say using these tools, educating people and getting more people into treatment will reduce stigma, and then, when a vaccine comes along, we can finally put an end to AIDS. (VOA)

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Just Spending 2 Hours a Week in Nature can Work Wonders for Health, Well-Being

It's well known that getting outdoors in nature can be good for people's health

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Nature, Health, Well-Being
People who spend at least 120 minutes a week with nature are significantly more likely to report good health and higher psychological wellbeing than those who do not visit nature at all during an average week. Pixabay

If you are looking for that elusive secret to good health and wellbeing, your search may stop now as a new large-scale study has found that spending just two hours a week in the neighbourhood park may do wonders for your mind and body.

People who spend at least 120 minutes a week with nature are significantly more likely to report good health and higher psychological wellbeing than those who do not visit nature at all during an average week, said the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

“It’s well known that getting outdoors in nature can be good for people’s health and wellbeing but until now we’ve not been able to say how much is enough,” said lead researcher Mat White of the University of Exeter Medical School in Britain.

“The majority of nature visits in this research took place within just two miles of home so even visiting local urban green spaces seems to be a good thing,” White said.

Nature, Health, Well-Being
If you are looking for that elusive secret to good health and wellbeing, your search may stop now as a new large-scale study has found that spending just two hours a week in the neighbourhood park may do wonders for your mind and body. Pixabay

However, no such benefits were found for people who visited natural settings such as town parks, woodlands, country parks and beaches for less than 120 minutes a week.

The study used data from nearly 20,000 people in England and found that it didn’t matter whether the 120 minutes was achieved in a single visit or over several shorter visits.

It also found that the 120 minute threshold applied to both men and women, to older and younger adults, across different occupational and ethnic groups, among those living in both rich and poor areas, and even among people with long term illnesses or disabilities.

“There are many reasons why spending time in nature may be good for health and wellbeing, including getting perspective on life circumstances, reducing stress, and enjoying quality time with friends and family,” said study co-author Terry Hartig of Uppsala University in Sweden.

Also Read- Countries Approved Projects Worth $1 Billion for Environment, Climate Change

“The current findings offer valuable support to health practitioners in making recommendations about spending time in nature to promote basic health and wellbeing,” Hartig said. (IANS)