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international news _ 30th August, 2006

AIDS Risk Associated With Techno

Text by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

Young Americans who listen to techno and/ or go to church are more likely to catch HIV than other music fans, including followers of gangsta hip hop, according to a new study of young people in New York, which said condoms are the key determining factor for risk.

"Boys who listened to hip hop had more sex and more partners, but it did not impact condom use," lead researcher Miguel Munoz-Laboy of Columbia University said in a press release. "Those who are part of religious culture or the club scene used condoms inconsistently."

His findings coincided with the publication of a declaration by 19 different health organisations linked to harm reduction this week, who identified injecting drug use as one of the principle vectors of contagion and called for immediate government action to tackle the threat.

"Considerable evidence exists that harm reduction strategies such as needle exchange programs can effectively, safely and cheaply reduce the spread of HIV; yet very few such programs are in place," said Dr. Diane Riley, who signed the declaration for the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy.

"Governments are in effect spreading infection through their own drug control and enforcement policies which encourage use of non-sterile equipment, and marginalization and incarceration of users,"

"The United States, the world's most important donor of international aid, restricts implementation of harm reduction strategies," Dr Riley continued. "Political and social commitment, including commitment of the necessary resources, and an end to the US administration's embargo on harm reduction are needed now. If we fail to do this, further catastrophe is inevitable," she said.