AIDS communication breakdown means new threat to the UK
Australian researchers have found evidence which supports the sneaky suspicion held by many that working in an open plan office could be a health hazard. According to Dr. Vinesh Oommen from Queensland’s University of Technology shocking evidence has been found on the health hazards of working in such environments. Dr. Oommen’s evidence comes from a
Full Post: Open plan offices a health hazard!
With World AIDS Day on December 1, a leading expert is urging the Government to repeat the 1980s campaigns in order to deal with a new crisis of awareness and understanding of the AIDS threat in the UK.
New research by Professor Hazel Barrett of Coventry University alongside a research student Betselot Mulugeta among African ethnic minority communities in Birmingham has highlighted a breakdown in understanding between migrant groups and the UK health authorities which means Africa’s problem with AIDS is coming into the UK.
The research found common perceptions that:
- all migrants are screened for HIV/AIDS before being allowed to enter the UK, so unsafe sex is not a problem;
- the UK has drugs which cures AIDS;
- there is no problem with AIDS in the UK because, unlike their own countries, there is no mention of it in the media or in public health announcements.
Professor Barrett, who has spent more than ten years of her career studying public awareness campaigns and the impact of AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, argues that the UK faces a real threat from greater mobility and lower levels of understanding.
“The levels of newly-reported cases of HIV in the UK are higher than ever before. Contrary to popular perception, HIV/AIDS is more likely to affect heterosexuals, and the majority of newly diagnosed infections are outside of London. The North East, East, and South Central Strategic Health Authority regions of the UK have reported 500% increases in the past 10 years,” she said.
“There is a desperate need to understand the social context of the disease both in terms of the migrants’ region of origin as well as in their new UK communities. The British government is yet to address the steep rise in rates of the disease among heterosexuals and a new AIDS awareness campaign targeted at those most at risk of spreading it is imperative. It’s a campaign they are reluctant to undertake because of the sensitivities around immigration and race.
“Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 60% of global cases of HIV/AIDS but it is dangerous to think of the disease as just an African problem now that we can travel easily between continents. Surely it is time we had another UK national campaign to bring this deadly disease to everybody’s attention and to correct the misconceptions that both the host and migrant communities have of the UK HIV/AIDS epidemic.”
South Africa’s revitalised drive against AIDS has received a £15 million boost which could help save millions of lives and stop the spread of HIV across the country. International Development Minister Ivan Lewis travelled to Johannesburg ahead of World AIDS Day to offer the new South African Health Minister, Barbara Hogan, direct UK support as she
Full Post: South Africa’s battle with AIDS receives funding boost
A study published in the British medical journal Lancet yesterday suggesting that testing all adults in Africa annually for HIV and immediately treating every person who tests positive could halt the AIDS epidemic in Africa within a decade has spurred the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) to renew its call for the massive scale up of,
Full Post: AHF: Lancet’s Africa AIDS study shows global testing woefully under-funded
Most of the rabies virus circulating in dogs in western and central Africa comes from a common ancestor introduced to the continent around 200 years ago, probably by European colonialists. In the current issue of Journal of General Virology a team of scientists from Africa, USA and France report that within this common ancestry there
Full Post: Hope for a rabies eradication strategy in Africa
The Secretariat of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has lost valuable ground by ignoring for years the contribution of long-term concurrent relationships to Africa’s AIDS epidemic, claims an expert ahead of World AIDS Day on bmj.com. UNAIDS may be “contributing to the mystification of AIDS in Africa by promoting a needlessly overcomplicated
Full Post: A more rational and scientific approach to AIDS is needed, says expert
Addressing the discrimination against HIV-positive teachers in Africa is a key aim of a new documentary and accompanying book being launched in Senegal today by the Partnership for Child Development based at Imperial College London. An estimated 122,000 teachers in sub-Saharan Africa are living with HIV, most of whom have not sought testing and do
Full Post: New HIV documentary tackles stigma faced by teachers in Africa