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Three decades on global AIDS response showing results – UN report

“AIDS at 30: Nations at the crossroads,” released today by the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), comes ahead of a three-day high-level event at UN Headquarters next week focusing on efforts to combat the epidemic.“Thirty years ago when scientists first identified AIDS, it was mysterious, deadly and spreading,” Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro told a news conference in New York. “Now three decades on, more and more people have access to treatment, infections are declining and greater numbers of pregnant women living with HIV are keeping their babies free of infection.”She said next week’s high-level meeting is “our chance to chart a new, bold path,” adding that the target is clear – zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. “We have come a long way,” added Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of UNAIDS. Highlighting the report’s findings, he noted that about 6.6 million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy in low- and middle-income countries at the end of 2010, a nearly 22-fold increase since 2001. Also, a record 1.4 million people started life-saving treatment in 2010 – more than any year before – and at least 420,000 children were receiving antiretroviral therapy at the end of 2010, a 50 per cent increase since 2008.Mr. Sidibé said that with access to treatment, “AIDS has moved from what was effectively a death sentence to a chronic disease.” New HIV infections are now declining at a significant rate, by 25 per cent in the last 10 years, he added.According to the report, the rate of new HIV infections fell by more than 50 per cent in India and by more than 35 per cent in South Africa. Both countries have the largest number of people living with HIV on their continents.“Access to treatment will transform the AIDS response in the next decade. We must invest in accelerating access and finding new treatment options,” said the Executive Director. “Antiretroviral therapy is a bigger game-changer than ever before – it not only stops people from dying, but also prevents the transmission of HIV to women, men and children.”At the same time, the report notes that significant challenges remain. The latest estimates from UNAIDS shows that 34 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2010 and nearly 30 million have died from AIDS-related causes over the past 30 years.Despite expanded access to antiretroviral therapy, a major treatment gap remains. At the end of 2010, nine million people who were eligible for treatment did not have access. Treatment access for children is lower than for adults – only 28 per cent of eligible children were receiving antiretroviral therapy in 2009, compared to 36 per cent coverage for people of all ages.While the rate of new HIV infections has declined globally, the total number of HIV infections remains high, at about 7,000 per day. In addition, gender inequalities remain a major barrier to effective HIV responses. HIV is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age, and more than a quarter of all new global HIV infections are among young women between the ages of 15 and 24. According to the report, investments in the HIV response in low- and middle-income countries rose nearly 10-fold between 2001 and 2009, from $1.6 billion to $15.9 billion. However, in 2010, international resources for HIV declined.“I am worried that international investments are falling at a time when the AIDS response is delivering results for people,” said Mr. Sidibé. “If we do not invest now, we will have to pay several times more in the future.” 3 June 2011The global response to AIDS has achieved significant results since the first case was reported 30 years ago, with a record number of people having access to treatment and rates of new HIV infections falling by nearly 25 per cent, the United Nations says in a new report. read more

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Parts of University Challenge are edited when students cant answer questions Jeremy

first_imgIf minor edits are made they always accurately and fairly represent each team’s performanceBBC spokesman You might get a run of unanswered starter questions, they all get edited outJeremy Paxman Paxman, who was speaking publicly for the first time about his autobiography, said the episodes were edited because “as a taxpayer you do not want to think your money is being wasted”.  It is understood that contestants are not able to answer a string of questions around two to three times a recording. The quiz show, which was revived on the BBC in 1994, sees two university teams compete against each other for the chance to win points by going head-to-head on “starter for 10” questions.One starter question contestants were unable to answer recently is the word found both in the title of a senior officer in the United Kingdom’s Royal Household and in the hereditary title of one of the great officers of state, who is responsible for royal affairs at the Palace of Westminster (Chamberlain). Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. In another episode, contestants did not know what the weekly Department of Health alcohol guidelines were for men (14 units per week). They also failed to name the artist who was reportedly responsible for a small, unsigned piece of work, which was withdrawn from an auction in 2012 after a Vanity Fair article cast doubt on its authenticity (Jackson Pollock).During the talk, Paxman, who previously presented Newsnight, also labelled the BBC “infuriating” as he reiterated his call for the corporation to think again about the £145.50 licence fee it charges households every year. “The BBC is too big, it makes mistakes and then it refuses to apologise for them properly,” he said.Describing the licence fee as an “antique mechanism”, he added: “It is not difficult to devise something in the digital age.“It is clearly not feasible to continue indefinitely with a system of taxes on a particular item of household furniture, which is essentially what it is. We don’t say there is a tax on washing machines or fridge freezers or something, do we? I don’t think it can last.”A BBC spokesman said: “Viewers should not be in any doubt that University Challenge contestants are the cream of the TV quiz crop – if minor edits are made they always accurately and fairly represent each team’s performance.” To the audience at home they appear to be geniuses who can answer tricky questions about science, philosophy and literature at the drop of a hat – but the University Challenge contestants may not actually be as smart as they first seem.In fact, sometimes they fail to answer so many starter questions the episodes have to be carefully edited to keep the audience satisfied, presenter Jeremy Paxman has revealed. Speaking at Henley Literary Festival, the 66-year-old said: “I’ll let you into a secret [about how] University Challenge is recorded.”If we get a run of questions, it doesn’t happen very often, say one show in seven or eight or 10 or something, you might get a run of unanswered starter questions, they all get edited out.”last_img read more