Today is just like any other for the people living at the Sparrows Rainbow Village near Johannesburg. They’re among more than 40 million people across the world living with HIV. Their plight, and those of others around the globe, is being highlighted today, the 18th World Aids Day.Latest UN figures show that Sub-saharan africa is still hardest hit by the virus. Two thirds of the world total of people infected live here. Access to treatment is still much easier for those living in richer, developed countries. But in France, President Jacques Chirac wants contraceptive machines installed in secondary schools to prevent the disese spreading in the young.
In Russia it is the young who are being hit hardest. The country has opened its first orphanage for HIV positive children. Official statistics claim that by the end of last year, Russia had 340 000 people living with HIV. The country now has the fastest growing epidemic in Europe, with almost half of new cases being women of childbearing age.