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|AIDS/HIV News Archive: JAPAN|
HIV Vaccine Tested for Japanese Patients 1/04/04 -- Daily Yomiuri
Clinical trials of an HIV vaccine developed exclusively for
Japanese patients have begun at the Research Hospital of Tokyo
University's Institute of Medical Sciences, the hospital
announced Saturday. The vaccine is designed to target a large
number of Japanese with genetically similar immune cells and
could lighten the financial and physical burdens of HIV patients
who take drugs to stave off progression to AIDS, said hospital
officials. Director Aikichi Iwamoto and colleagues mixed healthy
immune cells taken from HIV patients with HIV viral segments
taken from the same patients. After letting immune cells learn
the attributes of the virus they were to target, they were then
injected back into the bodies of the patients. The doctors then
mapped out methods to encourage the immune cells to attack HIV.
For two years, doctors will observe whether the vaccine can keep
HIV levels low enough to prevent progression to AIDS, said the
Japan Only Now Confronting Rising HIV Rate 17/03/03 -- San Francisco Chronicle
At a popular Tokyo restaurant, a dozen young sex workers are
engrossed in a heated debated over ways to avoid AIDS and other
STDs and still keep their jobs should a client insist on not
using a condom. The women are attending a monthly meeting led by
former prostitutes and health activists working for the
nongovernmental organization Sex Work and Sexual Health (SWASH).
UNAIDS reports that just 12,000 adults out of 127 million
Japanese have HIV. But during 2002, Japan recorded unprecedented
new infection rates with 301 new cases of AIDS and 595 HIV cases.
Health experts say this number could increase to 50,000 by 2010
because of a booming sex trade (estimated at $13 billion
annually), declining condom use, lack of an effective government
awareness program, increased sexual activity among young people
and the low status of women in Japanese society.
According to Masako Kihara, an AIDS expert and adviser to
the health ministry, more than 60 percent of the newly infected
are in their teens or 20s. Numerous surveys demonstrate that most
men and women in their 20s do not use condoms.
Kihara points to a lack of AIDS education for young people,
whose ignorance about the subject she describes as "frightening."
AIDS education in primary and middle school, which began just
last year, focuses on eliminating HIV discrimination rather than
teaching safe sex, AIDS activists complain.
Activists and some academics also highlight a culture that
discourages female assertiveness. "A woman initiating the issue
of HIV with their partners and asking them to use condoms would
appear rude and challenging, an image she would want to avoid,"
said Yasuko Muramatsu, professor of women's studies at Gakugei
University in Tokyo.
Meanwhile, Kihara says that without an effective government
program, "all signs in Japan point to higher HIV rates in the
Japan's HIV Cases Rose in Last 3 Months of 2002 31/01/03 -- Associated Press
Japan's health authorities announced Friday an increase in
the number of people testing positive for HIV through December
over the previous three months. Of the 139 new cases, 77 were
transmitted via homosexual contact, said Makoto Iwakura, a
spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
Forty-five of the new cases were transmitted through heterosexual
contact with no reported transmissions through infected needles.
During the same October-December period, Japan's total number of
AIDS patients increased to 2,549 with 61 HIV-positive people
developing AIDS and four AIDS patients dying. The ministry's
committee on AIDS surveillance began compiling statistics over
three-month periods in 1984 after the first AIDS patient in Japan
Japan Needs Refresher in AIDS Awareness 07/10/02 -- Nikkei Weekly
According to the Japanese Ministry of Health,
Welfare, there were 621 new HIV cases reported and 332
AIDS in 2001, both record highs. Excluding those
blood coagulants, the number of new HIV cases surged
by 159, or
34 percent, from the previous year, to a cumulative of
cases. There are an estimated 950,000 HIV-infected
North America and 550,000 in Western Europe. However,
health experts argue that the situation in Japan is
faster than anyone anticipated, and they predict there
16,000 HIV cases in Japan by 2003 and up to 50,000
cases by 2010.
Since 1992, Tokyo Gas Co. has been holding
sessions where an advisor specializing in AIDS
lectures to rank-and-file employees and mid-level
lectures vary from basic knowledge of the disease to
in the workplace. "When conveying a message to the new
in particular, we emphasize that the number of young
rising rapidly," said Kazuko Matsuzaki, director of
promotion center. The number of new male HIV cases
reached 475 in
2001, up from 108 nearly a decade ago. Males under age
accounted for over 38 percent of the total, up from 31
average from 1985 to 2000.
"I can say that Japan is now facing a second wave
with a lot of people quite unaware that they can be
the disease through sexual intercourse," said Seiichi
professor of public health at Kanagawa Prefectural
Nursing and Medical Technology.
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. offers a free
its health care centers in Osaka and Tokyo not only to
employees but also to their families. They can remain
so that there will be no report sent to their
superiors at work,
and the centers even offer phone and face-to-face
services. Hiroshi Hasegawa, representative of Japanese
People Living with HIV/AIDS, admits some leading
becoming good at maintaining HIV patients' privacy,
but he fears
many companies still make a grudging response to
thinking they dare not look into such controversial
6 Died of AIDS in Japan So Far This Year 12/05/00 -- Kyodo News Service
Japanese health officials reported Tuesday that 36 people died from AIDS in the first 10 months of 2000. In September and October alone, there were four AIDS deaths, 62 new cases of AIDS
diagnosed, and 88 new HIV infections. The Health and Welfare Ministry said that there are now more than 7,000 people with HIV or AIDS in Japan.
Japan HIV, AIDS Cases Jump in First Half of 1999 12/01/99 -- Reuters
In Japan, 145 new AIDS patients were reported in the first half
of 1999, the nation's highest ever increase during a six-month
period. The numbers reflect a sharp increase among high school
and university students, a health ministry official noted.
Between January and June, a total of 230 new cases of HIV were
recorded in Japan, including two people who contracted the
disease after receiving tainted donated blood.
HIV Infection Rates in Japan Projected to Increase 28/8/99 -- Lancet
Officials from Japan's Health and Welfare Ministry predict that
the number of Japanese infected with HIV will more than double by 2003. According to a new report, there will be an estimated 15,400 Japanese with HIV by 2003, compared to 7,320 at the end of 1998. The researchers say that most of the HIV cases would be in and around Tokyo.
Japan: Still Complacent About HIV/AIDS 6/1/99 -- IPS Wire
Japan has the lowest public awareness of HIV/AIDS among industrialized nations, despite a steadily rising number of HIV/AIDS cases in the country. Over 550 new HIV cases were reported in the first 10 months of 1998, with 38 percent of the overall number HIV infections and full-blown AIDS cases occurring among people in their twenties. Analysts note that attitudes and taboos concerning the
open discussion of sex need to change before AIDS education comes to the fore.
Popular Drama Prompts Interest in HIV 5/12/98 -- Lancet
The number of HIV-1 tests performed at public health centers in Japan more than doubled between July and September of this year, because of the popularity of a television show featuring a high-school girl infected with HIV through prostitution. HIV awareness in Japan ranks among the lowest of any developed nations; Kazuko Ishida of the Health and Welfare Ministry's AIDS surveillance department notes that "until [the miniseries] aired, public awareness about the disease had declined for five straight years because the media hadn't touched the subject." Health centers conducted 18,561 HIV-1 tests from July to September, compared to 9,444 tests during the previous three months.
Japan's Health Ministry Announces AIDS Campaign 29/9/98 -- Kyodo News Service
Japan's Health Ministry will launch in October a six-month AIDS education campaign aimed at the nation's youths. The effort will feature presentations and educational materials that will be distributed at high schools and universities throughout Japan. AIDS education kits will also be available to help teach younger students about the disease. Ministry officials hope the effort will make people review their own behavior, as well as participate in the campaign's activities. Statistics show that 268 Japanese contracted HIV last year, one-third of whom were in their 20s.
Japan Had Record 250 New AIDS Patients in '97 27/1/98 -- Kyodo News Service
Japan's Health and Welfare Ministry's AIDS Surveillance
Committee announced Tuesday that a record 250 new AIDS cases were recorded in 1997. The agency also reported 397 new HIV
infections, 162 of which were related to sexual contact. By
year-end 1997, Japan had recorded a total of 1,684 AIDS cases and
3,357 HIV-positive individuals. One of the committee members
stressed the need "to promote preventive education that focuses
on the sexual behavior of men."
CHAIRMAN OF GOV'T PANEL FIRED OVER HIV REMARKS 17/7/97 -- Mainichi Daily News
The head of a government panel was fired Wednesday over comments he made about health benefits for people infected with the HIV virus. "Taxpayers tend to see (free medical benefits for HIV sufferers) as a waste of money," said Akira Nakajima, head of the Health and Welfare Ministry advisory panel on whether HIV sufferers should get official recognition as being disabled. "In Thailand, they pour their resources into prevention, and let those
who are already infected die," he said. Nakajima, a professor emeritus at Juntendo University, cited public coldness toward HIV carriers as a factor behind his comments at a meeting Tuesday. Ministry officials who attended the meeting acknowledged the comments were prejudiced. Nonetheless, Nakajima's comments aroused distrust in the government among HIV sufferers.