Climate change could increase HIV rates

May 1st, 2008 - 12:04 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, May 1 (IANS) Climate change will trigger a chain of events that is likely to prompt an increase in HIV rates worldwide, an expert has warned. Daniel Tarantola of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) said the disadvantage in developing countries must be addressed if the world is to prevent a dramatic escalation of the HIV epidemic as well as other health problems.

“It was clear soon after the emergence of the HIV epidemic that discrimination, gender inequality and lack of access to essential services have made some populations more vulnerable than others,” Tarantola said Wednesday.

“Today, additional threats are lurking on the horizon as the global economic situation deteriorates, food scarcity worsens and climate change begins to affect those who were already dependent on survival economies,” Tarantola said.

David Cooper, also of UNSW, said: “Science has achieved great strides towards shaping a more effective response to HIV. Yet research has not succeeded in producing the hoped-for ‘magic bullets’ of either a cure or a vaccine.”

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