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AIDS SURVEILLANCE REPORT. 1995 Jan; (4):3, 5-6.More than forty studies were reviewed in 1995 on the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices of individuals with respect to HIV/AIDS in American Samoa, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hong Kong, Japan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Vietnam. In all but one of the twenty studies which inquired, more than 80% of respondents had heard of AIDS. In a number of countries, correct knowledge about the sexual transmission of HIV/AIDS was found to be at least 80%. A similar level of knowledge was found about needle transmission of HIV/AIDS, although comparatively lower levels of knowledge about HIV transmission via sexual intercourse, needle use/reuse, and maternal-child exchange was, however, identified in Cambodia, Fiji, Malaysia, Solomon Islands, and the high-risk populations of Vietnam and French Polynesia. Relatively high levels of incorrect answers were observed for the incorrect modes of HIV transmission. Moreover, 20% of respondents in each of the eight studies are in favor of exiling or isolating HIV-infected persons; in two countries, support for isolation or exile was 60% or greater. Overall, risk behaviors appear to exist at levels which will support an HIV epidemic in the countries studied. Levels of other sexually transmitted diseases and reported levels of extramarital and premarital sex, especially among males, support this conclusion. Commercial sex appears to occur at a substantial level in most of the societies studied, while condom use in casual and commercial sexual encounters seems to be the exception rather than the rule.
FAR EASTERN ECONOMIC REVIEW. 1992 Feb 20; 28-9.As the AIDS epidemic and HIV transmission in India increasingly resembles that observed in sub-Saharan Africa, Indian society's arrogant perception of invulnerability to the pandemic is proving to be considerably ill-conceived. The dimensions of the epidemic have multiplied greatly since AIDS was 1st identified among prostitutes in Madras, with the trends observed in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu being especially ominous. AIDS has forced Indian society and research professionals to acknowledge the existence of domestic prostitution, homosexuals, and drug users. While only 103 AIDS cases and 6,400 HIV infections have been officially identified, it is clear that these cases represent only a tiny fraction of the true extent of the epidemic in India. The government will therefore spend up to US$7.75 million on an anti-AIDS program aimed at ensuring secure blood supplies, and checking heterosexual transmission through education and the promotion of condoms. The program also targets IV-drug users and truck drivers for education and behavioral change. India is the 2nd country after Zaire to accept foreign loans for such a purpose. It will receive US$85 million over 5 years from the World Bank in addition to supplemental funds from the WHO and the U.S. Weak attempts, however, have been made to test blood supplies, with only 15% being tested in Tamil Nadu. A large gap also remains between health educators and needy target groups. Finally, while some top officials realize the need for immediate action against AIDS, broad public awareness and coping will come only after AIDS mortality begins to mount in the population.