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AIDS WEEKLY PLUS. 1999 Jul 12-19; 7.AIDS-related mortality has declined significantly since the mid-1990s, although the rate of new infections has remained steady. While recent data indicate that fewer teenagers are having sex and more are using condoms, 20% of AIDS cases in Massachusetts are young adults who were probably infected as teens. There is now a rebirth of denial and considerable complacency about the reality of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Part of that complacency stems from the development and use of protease inhibitors since 1996, a class of drugs capable of extending the lives of people infected with HIV. The initial success rates of these drugs have led many people to believe that AIDS is no longer life-threatening, but rather manageable over the long term. However, these drugs are complex and there is much misinformation about their success rates. The effectiveness of protease inhibitors has been short-lived in many patients, and sometimes ineffective in people who could not adhere to the strict drug regimen. Thousands of people participated in AIDS Action Committee's 14th annual AIDS Walk to raise awareness and pay tribute to those who have been affected by the disease.
WORLDAIDS. 1992 Jan; (19):10.White, U.S. homosexual males were primarily affected in the early stages of the AIDS pandemic. Some Western researchers argued, however, that the syndrome originated in Africa. Strong political and social response to this notion resulted in only an anemic response to the growing AIDS epidemic in Nigeria. Nonetheless, the Stop AIDS Organization finally launched the Motor Park AIDS Education Program (MPAEP) in 1988, for health and education outreach to populations at risk of STDs and HIV infection. Specifically targeted are long-distance truck drivers, their young male assistants known as motor boys, and the barmaids, prostitutes, and homeless juveniles who frequent motor parks where these drivers rest while on the road. Many of these long-haul drivers have unprotected casual and commercial sex, both homosexual and heterosexual, take drugs, and suffer high rates of STDs. Marginalized, 75% illiterate, and speaking a variety of languages, these populations tend to be largely ignorant of the incurable nature of AIDS. Over 45% of motor park populations are estimated to be infected with an STD, or to have a future re-infection. These drivers are optimal vectors for the spread of HIV both internationally and within Nigeria. MPAEP workers work 6 days/week in the larger interstate motor parks to reach out to their predominantly male customers. They meet a host of primary health needs, and refer STD clients for testing and treatment. Drug use and homosexuality are 2 topics of discussion especially taboo in African society which have nonetheless been vigorously researched by MPAEP. Many drivers are unacknowledged bisexuals who have sex with their motor boys. Workers therefore explain the need to use condoms in same-sex activity without specifically mentioning homosexuality. Many Nigerians deny the existence of HIV and AIDS, are reluctant to speak about sex, and consider MPAEP workers to be intruders. Despite opposition in Muslim- dominated Northern Nigeria, however, program efforts continue.