Take a minute to learn the facts about HIV, by etssetcf

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                 Take a minute to learn the facts about HIV, says Jane Hutt

 Reducing the stigma and prejudice surrounding HIV will strengthen our chances of fighting
 the disease, Health and Social Services Minister Jane Hutt said on World AIDS Day
 (December 1).

 She said: "It only takes a moment to learn the facts about HIV. World AIDS Day reminds us
 of the need to confront this disease, for which there is still no cure or vaccine. By reducing
 stigma and prejudice we will be better able to combat the disease, both through prevention
 and treatment strategies."

 Seventy-one people were newly diagnosed as HIV-positive in Wales in 2002. This
 compares to 65 in 2001 and 46 in 2000. In 2002, 468 HIV-positive individuals were
 receiving treatment in Wales (398 in 2001 and 332 in 2000).

 Action taken by the Welsh Assembly Government to combat HIV and other sexually
 transmitted infections includes:

       A HIV health promotion programme, commissioned by the Assembly from the
       Terrence Higgins Trust, targeting gay men. This includes four prevention campaigns
       and the development of bilingual HIV prevention resources and other materials for
       health professionals.
       Support for local initiatives on World Aids Day through the provision of red ribbons and
       HIV prevention leaflets.
       A condom distribution grant scheme to increase the availability, accessibility and
       acceptability of condoms to groups most vulnerable to sexually transmitted infection
       and teenage pregnancy. Funding of £230,000 has been provided for18 pilot projects
       across Wales.
       The development of an all-Wales Sexual Health Network which ensures that the views
       of HIV-positive individuals are taken on board by those developing services for
       treatment and care.
       Ante-natal screening for HIV, introduced in November 2000 and now available
       throughout Wales, reduces the risk of mother-to-baby transmission of HIV.

 Jane Hutt said: "The Assembly Government has invested more than £3 million in sexual
 health over the past three years, putting into practice the Strategic framework for promoting
 sexual health in Wales. Work includes the implementation of new local sexual health
 strategies, a national Sexually Transmitted Infections prevention campaign and the
 development of HIV antenatal screening in Wales.

 "A review of sexual health services is currently underway and will report next autumn. This
 will look at all aspects of a modern sexual health service, including ST and HIV prevention,
 diagnosis and treatment."

 Notes

 1. World AIDS Day is an international campaign that aims to raise awareness of HIV and
 Aids. More information including the facts about preventing HIV infection is available on
 www.worldaidsday.org/



http://www.wales.gov.uk/assemblydata/N0000000000000000000000000015273.htm             01/12/2003
Take a minute to learn the facts about HIV,                                        Page 2 of 2




 2. More than 42 million men, women and children are infected with HIV worldwide, 5 million
 of them in the past year alone.



 30 November 2003




http://www.wales.gov.uk/assemblydata/N0000000000000000000000000015273.htm          01/12/2003

								
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