In Asia, on the other hand, another continent where the world's poor may be found, 432,000 people became newly infected, raising the total number of infected people to 4.8 million. While there have been some increase in the number of HIV/AIDS victims in the more prosperous parts of the world like Europe and the United States, the increase in the developing countries are sharper and therefore more alarming.
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is a virus that infects human cells and the virus grows and reproduces by feeding of the nutrients of healthy human cells. HIV is the virus that leads to AIDS which stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Virus, and in this case, the body's immune system breaks down and can no longer ward off infections that come in. These infections that come in are called "opportunistic infections" because they take advantage of a deteriorating immune system.
The virus can be transmitted via sexual intercourse - this could be vaginal, anal or oral - whether in heterosexual or homosexual relations, sharing needles or syringes or infection during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.
There are plenty of global initiative...
The initiatives are in the nature of prevention advocacy - wherein grassroots level education is being promoted and awareness is being pushed so that governments are pressured to do something concrete for their people who are suffering from the illness - as well as curative strategies to democratize health care and medication.
One such initiative is the amFAR or the Foundation for AIDS Research. In its website (www.amfar.org), the organization described itself as follows:
Founded in 1985, amfAR is dedicated to ending the global AIDS epidemic through innovative research. With the freedom and flexibility to respond quickly to emerging areas of scientific promise, amfAR plays a catalytic role in accelerating the pace of HIV/AIDS research and achieving real breakthroughs. amfAR-funded research has increased our understanding of HIV and has helped lay the groundwork for major advances in the study and treatment of HIV/AIDS. Since 1985, amfAR has invested $260 million in its mission and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide.
The amFAR has helped by funding research critical to the development of essential medication that has led to the reduction of HIV/AIDS cases, such as protease inhibitors, Fuzeon and maraviroc. For prevention, it has also funded research for new technology to prevent the spread of the virus and supported programs to provide sterile syringes, which would help reduce AIDS intravenous transmission. It has also funded education programs, most notably in Nepal, and in the Asia Pacific region. In legislative work, the organization also has played an important law in the drafting of AIDS prevention legislation by the