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  1. 1

    Front line action in Poland.

    Pasek B

    Choices. 2001 Dec; 18-19.

    I don't have any used syringes. Somebody has stolen all, Anka was almost begging. In a worn-out black T-shirt and torn jeans, she looked helpless and desperate, standing in the middle of a vacant square, squeezed between Warsaw's main railway station and a Holiday Inn hotel. "I really don't have any," she repeated. "You know it's an exchange. Go and find some," Grzegorz Kalata said, patiently but firmly. Kalata comes to the square -- a meeting point for local drug users -- almost every evening. He is a streetworker from Monar, Poland's leading chain of non-profit detoxification centres. Under a harm reduction programme, partly sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Kalata gives disposable syringes and needles, bandages, condoms and antiseptics to drug addicts who meet at the square. In return, he collects used syringes and needles in a plastic container, usually full by the end of his visit. After scouring the grass at the site, Anka came back with four used needles. Kalata gave her seven new ones and a package of bandages. On average, Kalata gives out some 200 needles and 150 syringes during an evening. (excerpt)
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  2. 2

    The safety and feasibility of female condom reuse: report of a WHO consultation, 28-29 January 2002, Geneva.

    World Health Organization [WHO]

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2002. [3], 15 p.

    According to the recommendations of the first consultation, this second meeting (January 2002) was planned to review the resulting data and to develop further guidance on the safety of reuse of the female condom. The specific objectives and anticipated outcomes of this second consultation were to: Review the results and evaluate the implications of the recently completed microbiology and structural integrity experiments and the human use study; Develop a protocol or set of instructions for disinfecting and cleaning used female condoms safely; Outline future research areas and related issues for programme managers to consider when determining the balance of risks and benefits of female condom reuse in various contexts and settings. (excerpt)
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  3. 3

    [It is time to act] E tempo de agir.

    PLANEAMENTO FAMILIAR. 1993 Jul-Dec; (61-62):18.

    Time to act was the topic of the World Health Organization (WHO) on World AIDS Day, December 1, 1993, marked by a number of initiatives in many countries including Portugal. In Lisbon, 16 nongovernmental organizations met in order to launch a campaign of solidarity to humanize the services in Santa Maria and Curry Cabral hospitals and the Hospital of Estefania, where patients with AIDS are treated. The campaign lasted until December 31 and it collected funds, books, and goods to improve the material conditions of services. There was a program of animations and a video projection of four case histories. The nongovernmental organizations set up four working groups in prevention, social aid, hospital conditions, and elaboration of the rights of the infected. Other activities were also organized. 500 bikers rolled through the streets of the capital distributing brochures about AIDS. An international marathon was promoted and kiosks were also set up in Loures and Sacavem. There were also a national information and sensitivity campaign and education sessions for students. On the eve of December 1, a satirical show was performed in the Sao Luis Theatre. Simultaneously, the National Commission of the Combat Against AIDS disclosed that 1503 AIDS cases had been reported by November 1993 in Portugal, which corresponds to approximately 15,000 HIV infections. 66% of infections are transmitted via the sexual route, a fact which reinforces the importance that the WHO attaches to sex education in schools to prevent its spread among young people. A report of the WHO indicated that sex education increases the adoption of safe sex practices. The same study indicated that 14 million people are infected with HIV, a figure which may increase to 40 million by the year 2000. Almost half of those infected are persons in the 15-24 age group.
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  4. 4

    WHO award for health education in primary health care.

    WORLD HEALTH FORUM. 1994; 15(3):298-9.

    A World Health Organization annual award was established in 1985 for outstanding contributions by any person(s), institution(s), or nongovernmental organization(s) towards strengthening health education in primary health care. The award for 1992, consisting of a cash prize of US$ 5000 to be used for continuing health education activities, was conferred on Sezione Sanitaria, Dipartimento delle Opere Sociali, Bellinzona, Switzerland, for work on the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases. Since 1984 extensive health education activities have been carried out in the Swiss Canton of Ticino (Tessin) to increase people's awareness of the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and to encourage them to modify their behavior. Personal contacts were made with families; the press, radio, television, and cinema carried informative messages; promotional material was widely available, and brochures were distributed to each household. A multidisciplinary approach with the close collaboration of professional organizations, commercial firms and nongovernmental organizations was successful in convincing people to change their lifestyles. 12 of the 15 risk factors showed an improvement over the control zone, and a decline of 26% in cardiovascular mortality was recorded for the canton as a whole.
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  5. 5

    AIDS prevention does work, says World Health Organization. Press release WHO/44.

    World Health Organization [WHO]

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 1992 Jun 22. 4 p.

    After reviewing 15 HIV prevention projects in 13 countries, the WHO Global Programme on AIDS has concluded that several approaches are effective in changing sexual behavior. The various projects centered around condom marketing programs, mass media campaigns, and friends and co-workers. Mass media campaigns and commercial marketing techniques in Zaire (attractively packaged condoms with appealing names) have resulted in a dramatic increase in condom sales, from <100,000->18 million between 1987-91. The government in Thailand has been able to gain the support of brothel owners and the prostitutes in 66 of 73 provinces to work toward achieving 100% condom use. For example, it penalizes brothel owners who do not comply. In Samut Sakhon, client condom use has reached almost 100%. Mass media campaigns in Switzerland have encouraged people to increase condom use from 8% to 52% between 1987-90, and condom sales have increased almost 2-fold (7.6-13.8 million between 1986-91. The community-based program in Zimbabwe uses prostitutes, actors, and musicians to tell their peers about HIV transmission and infection and encourage them to use condoms. In Tanzania, truck drivers, their assistants, and prostitutes along the trans-African Tanduma highway inform others about AIDS and condoms. In <1 year, condom use among prostitutes along the highway increased from 50% to 91%. Other successful projects include a community-based project in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico where prostitutes serve as peer educators (>85% condom use) and a mass media campaign in the Philippines (96% of youth remembered the campaign). Political will and adequate resources in these efforts will save millions of lives.
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