Governments urged by UN to take action against HIVAIDS in Europe

“Countries of the newly enlarged European Union (EU) now have a prime opportunity to convert their commitment into concrete actions and programmes against AIDS,” said Jack Chow, a senior official of the World Health Organization (WHO), shortly before the start of the European Ministerial Conference on AIDS in Vilnius, Lithuania.The two-day conference, entitled “Europe and HIV/AIDS: “New Challenges, New Opportunities,” is being hosted by the European Union and the Lithuanian Government.For its part, the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) said more European cooperation and investment is needed in the region. “We would like to support the European Union for their renewed efforts to fight AIDS in Europe, particularly its commitment to assist the most-affected countries in its neighbourhood,” Henning Mikkelsen, UNAID’s Regional Coordinator, told a news conference in Vilnius.WHO officials say nearly two million people in the region were already living with HIV/AIDS, adding that the epidemic poses a serious threat to the lives of thousands of people.WHO studies show that deaths from AIDS have declined in Western Europe, but infection rates continue to rise, mainly because of the lack of prevention efforts by governments in the region.With the highest infection rate in Eastern Europe, the epidemic continues to spread unchecked in Estonia, Latvia, the Russian Federation and Ukraine.The number of people living with HIV in Western Europe increased to 580,000 in 2003 from 540,000 in 2001.”Given that 80 per cent of those infected in Eastern Europe are young people, there is an urgent need for a massive and comprehensive response to reduce the vulnerability of young people and empower them to become active partners in the fight against AIDS,” said Lars O. Kallings, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe. “If no action is taken, we will be faced with a larger AIDS epidemic that risks crippling the region’s social and economic development and undermining national security.”Stressing the need to launch “targeted awareness-raising campaigns,” Mr. Kallings said since HIV transmission in Eastern Europe was mainly driven by the use of drug injections, information, counselling and treatment should be readily made available to drug users to reduce the risk of HIV.In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, about 120,000 people need antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, but currently only 15,000 are able to receive this treatment. read more

Wrestling Work pays off for Kyle Snyder who avoids second loss in

Ohio State senior heavyweight wrestler Kyle Snyder faces off against Arizona State’s Austyn Harris. Snyder won the match and the Buckeyes won the meet 31-12 on Nov. 12. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorEAST LANSING, Mich. — There was only one option for Ohio State heavyweight Kyle Snyder after he lost his first collegiate match since the 2015 NCAA final — to work and work and work to prevent that from happening again. The work paid off at the Big Ten championships in East Lansing, Michigan, on Sunday.After losing to redshirt senior Adam Coon on Feb. 11, Snyder enacted revenge with a 4-2 decision in the heavyweight final. Coon’s size was a mismatch for the Buckeye senior in their first match, with the 6-foot-6 285-pounder providing more physical difficulties than the 5-foot-11 225-pounder usually has to deal with. Snyder was unable to get a shot clean enough to score on Coon, which eventually led to Coon’s winning takedown late in the third period.In the sequel, Snyder was able to make the adjustment that landed him the victory. “That was an immense amount of energy used to score points, that takedown, so congrats to Kyle,” Ohio State head coach Tom Ryan said. In the overtime period, Snyder’s winning takedown went under review, which brought a moment of hesitation into the arena.“Coach Tervel and coach Ryan thought I did. Jaggers thought I did, but they all thought it was close. So, I would’ve been ready to wrestle… but I was happy the two points were up on the board,” Snyder said.With the win, Snyder became the fourth wrestler in school history with three Big Ten championships, including his teammate Nathan Tomasello.“The main thrill I get is the team. The team is my favorite part,” Snyder said. “I feel like at Ohio State we are really unique in the way that we do things, the way that we talk, the way that we dress, the way that we compete. How much we care for each other.”Snyder has been back and forth from international competitions to Big Ten dual meets, along with finishing his senior season as a member of a Big Ten team title with 164.5 points,16.5 more than second-place Penn State. Next up is his last NCAA championship, and yet he stays humble about his accomplishments. “The highs of winning a title, that won’t be my favorite part of it. It’s gonna be the process of getting ready to compete. Hanging out with my friends, and learning more about wrestling,” Snyder said. Following another Big Ten championship for Snyder, the rubble match with Coon looms in Cleveland. Coon replaced Snyder’s ranking after their first match, and Snyder will likely grab it back after winning Big Tens. Snyder will be seeking his third straight national title.“I think next time what I need to do is score earlier so that he has to come after me and then once he comes after me … probably start picking his ankles a little bit better,” Snyder said. Although Snyder’s focus has been individually on Coon, the biggest threat to Ohio State at nationals are the Nittany Lions. Snyder beat Penn State No. 3 Nick Nevills in his semifinal match Saturday night. “They wrestled really, really well at nationals, and beat us at the nationals,” Snyder said. “And then it was all summer, Penn State is unbeatable right? So and we were like ‘we’re gonna be better than we were last year. We thought we were gonna get McKenna.’”This time the Buckeyes were victorious, but history often repeats itself. For what lies beyond the championships in Cleveland, Snyder already has an idea.“I plan on wrestling for a really long time so I plan on being in a lot of more world championships, couple more Olympic games,” Snyder said. read more