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As AIDS Conference Opens, amfAR Releases Report Exposing Global Failure to Address HIV Among MSM
Date:8/4/2008

Ban Ki-moon, Margaret Chan, and presidents from Africa and Latin America call for governments to target epidemic among men who have sex with men

MEXICO CITY, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A day after leaders from the United Nations and the World Health Organization called attention to the need to combat AIDS among men who have sex with men, amfAR released the world's first comprehensive report exposing the failure of governments and global health institutions to address this exploding epidemic. The report, MSM, HIV, and the Road to Universal Access - How Far Have We Come?, paints a clear picture of collective denial and inaction fueling a worldwide public health crisis.

The full report can be downloaded at media.amfar.org.

At the opening ceremony of the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, UNAIDS head Peter Piot, and the presidents of Mexico, Botswana, and St. Kitts and Nevis called on governments to refocus attention on protecting men who have sex with men, who make up a large and growing portion of the epidemic in every part of the world. In the United States, a new report released Saturday by the CDC showed that HIV infections among gay men have risen 75 percent over the last 15 years.

"We need to engage them, we need to take care of them, we should not forget about them," said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, referring to MSM communities worldwide.

The worldwide statistics are shocking. Globally, men who have sex with men are 19 times more likely to be infected with HIV than the general population. In Latin America, which is hosting the biennial international AIDS conference for the first time, MSM are 33 times more likely to be infected than the general population. And though MSM make up nearly a quarter of those infected with HIV in Latin America as a whole, programs targeted toward MSM receive less than 1 percent of total HIV/AI
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SOURCE American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR)
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