access to life

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Access to Life: Vietnam

The percentage of Vietnam’s population infected with HIV is still low, at less than 1 percent. Most Vietnamese living with HIV became infected through contaminated needles while injecting drugs, and within this group, the rate of infection is radically higher. Because heroin and other drugs are cheap and casual use is common, HIV infection through drug use affects a larger part of the population in Vietnam than in many other countries.

Access to Life: Swaziland

Swaziland has the highest rate of HIV infection in the world, with more than one quarter of its population infected. Some 130,000 children have been orphaned or made vulnerable by the death of one or both of their parents. With so many infected, AIDS is impacting every aspect of life in Swaziland.

Access to Life: South Africa

With more than 5.5 million people living with HIV, South Africa remains the country with the highest number of infected people in the world. As in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, the face of AIDS is more and more a female one, and in some areas of South Africa, women are three times as likely to be infected as men.

Access to Life: Rwanda

Despite its troubled recent history, Rwanda’s rapid effort to combat AIDS has made free lifelong treatment available to 44,000 people—up from 4,000 people who had started treatment just five years ago. Rwanda stands out as one of the success stories in Africa, and is a model for how health care can reach all communities. Yet AIDS remains a serious health problem in a country rebuilding from war and genocide.

Access to Life: Russia

After the fall of the Soviet Union, a wave of drug use swept over Russia, addicting hundreds of thousands of young people. With heroin injection came the spread of HIV, rapidly infecting more than 1 million Russians. Russia’s is among the world’s most rapidly expanding AIDS epidemics, and frequently, those infected are diagnosed too late to be saved.

Access to life: Peru

AIDS in Peru has hit men who have sex with men, drug users, and commercial sex workers the hardest. Programs that make free AIDS treatment available require a person to pass “adherence” testing, showing that they have family or community support to help them stay on treatment.
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