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New HIV infections up slightly in B.C., Canada

New HIV infections up slightly in B.C., Canada

Health officials in British Columbia, Canada, report a modest "but alarming" increase in new HIV infections in 2001 following six years of decline, the Canadian Press reports. New infections in the province rose from 413 in 2000 to 420 in 2001. While the increase is small, it does mark the first time since 1995 that the number of new HIV cases has climbed over figures from the previous year. Increases were documented among both gay and heterosexual populations in the province. Richard Marchand, a researcher with the Community Based Research Centre in Vancouver, said HIV prevention programs targeting gay men and intravenous drug users must be stepped up in order to bring infection rates back down. "Prevention means taking on homophobia," Marchand said. "Prevention means overcoming the social and legal barriers that surround drug use and sex."

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