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Fishing and HIV


This is a brilliant and truly thought-provoking article.

Who would have ever thought the fishing industry had anything to do with HIV.

A quick read around showed many parallels happening in Asia. There have been reports of over-fishing in the Gulf of Thailand and the seas off the coast of Peninsular Malaysia and The Philipines.

Subsistence fishing is still common along lakes and rivers in South East Asia and fish is the main source of animal protein in Indonesia.

Commercial fishing has also developed rapidly with more and more people dependent on the fishing industry for a living.

This does not bode well for the estimated 100 million people who will be affected by over fishing. Already, there have been reports of catch volumes dropping to as low as 10% of what they used to be. And of fishermen going beyond national fishing boundaries to meet their volume demands creating diplomatic tensions between countries.

If this report is anything to go by, it looks like South East Asia, which is already struggling with rising HIV/AIDS infections, will have a much greater challenge up ahead to bring the epidemic under control.

This article also illustrate very well the fact that HIV affects and is affected by multiple political, social and economic factors. Which makes this disease unique and that much more difficult to predict and control.

Perhaps we can all play a small part by controlling our consumption and minmizing wastage. I know this may sound weak in the greater scheme of things. However, there was an IHT article that said Singapore threw away 570 million KG of food in 2008. Maybe if I do my bit, we can shave a few KGs off that number.

About Dr. Tan
Dr. Tan graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2001. His residency was in the two largest public hospitals in Singapore; Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Singapore General Hospital.

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