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How have countries other than the US responded to HIV AIDS?

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08/20/2008

==Australia:== In the early days, HIV virus was passed on mainly by gay men and intravenous drug users sharing needles. There was a worry that it would get into the prostitute population. The Australian government gave funding to the Prostitutes Collective who lobbied all the illegal brothels. The biggest brothel in Sydney, the Nevada, in Kings Cross agreed to advertise that all their female workers used condoms. Within weeks business was booming. The Government also gave funding to Gay Men's groups and let them run their own advertising. Advertisements appeared in the gay press showing two naked men in bed together with instructions always to use a condom. The Government also gave money to drug users. One of the leaders got the job of giving out clean free needles to all the drug users. He simplified this by going directly to the dealers, who handed out free needles to their customers. At the same time St Vincent's Hospital, in Sydney, set up a needle exchange program. They (still) have a van that goes round at night and gives out clean needles. Because of these government initiatives, the rate of infection in Australia is much much lower than in some other Western countries who ignored the problem, refused to fund condom use, and did not allow free needle exchanges. ----