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HEALTH FOR THE MILLIONS. 1991 Aug; 17(4):20-3.Until recently, the only sustained AIDS activity in India has been alarmist media attention complemented by occasional messages calling for comfort and dignity. Public perception of the AIDS epidemic in India has been effectively shaped by mass media. Press reports have, however, bolstered awareness of the problem among literate elements of urban populations. In the absence of sustained guidance in the campaign against AIDS, responsibility has fallen to voluntary health activists who have become catalysts for community awareness and participation. This voluntary initiative, in effect, seems to be the only immediate avenue for constructive public action, and signals the gradual development of an AIDS network in India. Proceedings from a seminar in Ahmedabad are discussed, and include plans for an information and education program targeting sex workers, health and communication programs for 150 commercial blood donors and their agents, surveillance and awareness programs for safer blood and blood products, and dialogue with the business community and trade unions. Despite the lack of coordination among volunteers and activists, every major city in India now has an AIDS group. A controversial bill on AIDS has ben circulating through government ministries and committees since mid-1989, a national AIDS committee exists with the Secretary of Health as its director, and a 3-year medium-term national plan exists for the reduction of AIDS and HIV infection and morbidity. UNICEF programs target mothers and children for AIDS awareness, and blood testing facilities are expected to be expanded. The article considers the present chaos effectively productive in forcing the Indian population to face up to previously taboo issued of sexuality, sex education, and sexually transmitted disease.
Sex education and family planning services for adolescents in Latin America: the example of El Camino in Guatemala.
[Unpublished] 1984. ix, 54,  p.This report examines the organizational development of Centro del Adolescente "El Camino," an adolescent multipurpose center which offers sex education and family planning services in Guatemala City. The project is funded by the Pathfinder Fund through a US Agency for International Development (USAID) population grant from 1979 through 1984. Information about the need for adolescent services in Guatemala is summarized, as is the organizational history of El Camino and the characteristics of youngg people who came there, as well as other program models and philosophies of sex education in Guatemala City. Centro del Adolescente "El Camino" represents the efforts of a private family planning organization to develop a balanced approach to serving adolescents: providing effective education and contraceptives but also recognizing that Guatemalan teenagers have other equally pressing needs, including counseling, health care, recreation and vocational training. The major administrative issue faced by El Camino was the concern of its external funding sources that an adolescent multipurpose center was too expensive a mechanism for contraceptive distribution purposes. A series of institutional relationships was negotiated. Professionals, university students, and younger secondary students were involved. Issues of fiscal accountability, or the cost-effectiveness of such multipurpose adolescent centers, require consideration of the goals of international funding agencies in relation to those of the society in question. Recommendations depend on whether the goal is that of a short-term contraception distribution program with specific measurable objectives, or that of a long-range investment in changing a society's attitudes about sex education for children and youth and the and the provision of appropriate contraceptive services to sexually active adolescents. Appendixes are attached. (author's modified)