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  1. 1

    The challenge of HIV / AIDS.

    Brown MM

    Choices. 2001 Dec; 4.

    We are facing the most devastating global epidemic in modern history. Over 60 million people have been infected. In the worst affected countries one in four adults are now living with HIV/AIDS, a disproportionate number of younger women and girls. More than 80 percent are in their twenties. The result is a devastating hollowing out of communities, leaving only the very young and the very old and thrusting millions of families deeper into poverty. Meeting this challenge means progress on three fronts: first, preventing new infections and reversing the spread of the epidemic; second, expanding equitable access to new HIV treatments; third, alleviating the disastrous impact of AIDS on human development. Effectively responding to HIV/AIDS requires a wide range of initiatives under strong national political leadership, including sex education in schools, public awareness campaigns, programmes in the workplace, mobilization of religious and community leaders, action to mitigate the impact on poverty and essential social services, support for orphans and tough policy decisions in ministries of finance to ensure optimal allocation of resources to cope with the crisis. (excerpt)
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  2. 2

    Prevention of HIV infection in pregnant women.

    United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA]

    New York, New York, UNFPA, 2001 Oct. 4 p. (HIV Prevention Now Programme Briefs No. 2)

    Within the Fund's mandate for HIV prevention, UNFPA's strategic focus is in three core areas: HIV prevention among young people, HIV prevention among pregnant women and comprehensive condom programming. In line with this strategic focus, this programme brief outlines the importance of and actions for the prevention of HIV infection in pregnant women, which in turn prevents transmission of HIV to their infants and partners. UNFPA's primary goal in this area is to ensure that HIV prevention among pregnant women remains high on the political agenda and as a priority for action. The important and proven role of voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) as an entry point for prevention, including among pregnant women, will be covered in a future programme brief and is only referenced in this issue. We must also realize that anti-retrovirals (ARVs) for all pregnant women is not yet a reality. And thus, given UNFPA's mandate focusing on prevention in the context of reproductive health, provision of ARVs must be referred to other partners involved in preventing mother-to child-transmission (MTCT) as well as those providing ARVs to women for their own sake. (excerpt)
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  3. 3

    After UNGASS, what about AIDS treatment access?

    Stern R

    Global AIDSLink. 2001 Aug-Sep; (69):8-9.

    During the month of June, I had the privilege of participating in the special session of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS (UNGASS), as well the First Central American Conference on Access to Essential Medications, co-organized by Doctors without Borders, The Agua Buena Human Rights Association, and Health International. One impression that I had after three days of UNGASS was that there is too much repetition of the generalities about the “global tragedy of epic proportions” that is occurring. These generalities are restated by everyone (practically by each of the 189 nations that participated in UNGASS) and tend to perhaps obscure the specific issues related to what can be done to facilitate treatment access in different parts of the world. It is time to accept that there is a global tragedy, but it is also time to look at the realities and potential interventions on a country-by-country basis, something which most of the countries did not do in their presentations at UNGASS. (excerpt)
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  4. 4

    AIDS treatment access... much ado about nothing?

    Stern R

    Global AIDSLink. 2001 Apr-May; (67):9.

    For many years, I have worked for access to treatment for people living with AIDS in the developing world. In a well-circulated 1997 article I wrote, “While thousands die of AIDS in the developing world, their brothers and sisters in Europe and North America are taking medication and getting back to the business of focusing on life instead of death.... I think in fifty more years, people will be asking the same questions about the AIDS epidemic as they did about the Holocaust. How was it possible that so many people with resources and intelligence, who knew so much about AIDS, sat passively by and watched their brothers and sisters die for lack of the same medications that everyone knows can prevent the deaths of people with AIDS?” Nearly four years later, I continue to work in Central America promoting treatment access for people with AIDS. The panorama has changed somewhat since 1997. But the realities of every day life for people with AIDS have changed very little in my part of the world, and, I would venture to say, in most of the developing world. (excerpt)
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