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Position statement on condoms and the prevention of HIV, other sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy.
[Geneva, Switzerland], UNAIDS, 2015 Jul 7.  p.Condoms are a critical component in a comprehensive and sustainable approach to the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and are effective for preventing unintended pregnancies. Male and female condoms are the only devices that both reduce the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and prevent unintended pregnancy. Condoms have played a decisive role in HIV, STI and pregnancy prevention efforts in many countries. Condoms remain a key component of high-impact HIV prevention programmes. Quality-assured condoms must be readily available universally, either free or at low cost. Programmes promoting condoms must address stigma and gender-based and socio-cultural factors that hinder effective access and use of condoms. Adequate investment in and further scale up of condom promotion is required to sustain responses to HIV, other STIs, and unintended pregnancy. (Excerpts)
Antiviral therapy. 2014; 19 Suppl 3:1.Add to my documents.
Nature. 2008 Jul 31; 454(7204):551.The fight against AIDS is losing ground, but the current spate of mud-slinging is far from helpful. The global conversation about AIDS is beginning to sound like a high-decibel exercise in finger-pointing and blame. This dangerous trend should be on the minds of the thousands of attendees convening in Mexico City this weekend for the XVII International AIDS Conference. Thirty-three million people around the world are HIV-positive, and more than 6,800 become infected every day. Tests on microbicides and vaccines have failed, and have put some volunteers at greater risk of HIV infection. Yet critics are attacking the very programmes and people trying to solve these problems, with some even calling for an end to government spending on the search for a vaccine. This is an overreaction. As many scientists point out, the search for a malaria vaccine has seen dozens of failed trials, whereas only three AIDS vaccines have so far been tested in efficacy studies. What is needed are better vaccine candidates to test, so it makes sense that the major backers of HIV vaccine trials, including the US National Institutes of Health, are now focusing on the basic research that could help the field move forward. Meanwhile, two books published last year claim that the United Nations AIDS programme, UNAIDS, has led an ineffective, politically motivated response to the disease and has distorted statistics in an effort to garner more money. And critics such as Roger England, who runs a small think tank in Grenada, argue that spending on AIDS has distorted poor countries' priorities and weakened their health systems. England proposes that UNAIDS be shut down, and the money spent on AIDS programmes shifted to general funding for health systems. Amid the debate on these questions, the founding director of UNAIDS, Peter Piot, announced in April that he would step down at the end of this year, throwing the agency into uncertainty at a crucial time. There is no doubt that many poor countries' health systems are struggling, but it is wrong to say that AIDS aid is responsible. In fact, AIDS programmes have shown how poor countries can use new models to deliver needed care, for instance by providing antiretroviral treatments effectively, putting to rest claims that the costly drugs could not be used correctly outside resource-rich nations. It is also wrong to assume that governments will spend money effectively to fight AIDS if given funds to support health systems overall, as England suggests. Today, many strategies for delivering AIDS treatment target groups such as women, homosexuals and intravenous drug users that have been ignored by governments in the past - neglect that fuelled the spread of the disease. More money should be spent on both AIDS and strengthening health-care systems. And this will be possible if donor governments live up to their promises, such as the pledges of general and disease-specific aid to Africa that were repeated this July at the G8 meeting in Japan. On that front, it is heartening that the US House and Senate have reauthorized $48 billion for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief ($9 billion of which is for fighting malaria and tuberculosis). If President Bush signs the bill as expected, the programme will also permit the US government to reverse the shameful and embarrassing policy that bans travellers with HIV from entering the country. That might serve as an example to other governments that still sanction discrimination against those who are HIV-positive. The world is still far from achieving the goal adopted in 2000 by UN member states, which pledged to provide universal access to AIDS treatment by 2010. Three million people now receive lifesaving antiretroviral drugs, but 70% of those in low- to middle-income countries who need them don't get them. Indeed, the example of wealthy nations themselves shows what happens when they lose focus on AIDS. In the United States, for instance, reports now indicate that HIV infection rates have begun to rise in Latinos and young gay men. The activists and scientists about to meet in Mexico City must demand that leaders keep their eye on the ball. The world now has models for providing treatment and care in the places that sorely need it, and is in a position to make more tangible gains against AIDS. This is no time to backslide, and the Mexico City meeting must deliver this message loud and clear. (full-text)
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 1998 Oct.  p. (UNAIDS Best Practice Collection)The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over one-third of the world's population has no guaranteed access to essential drugs. There are various reasons for this lack of access. Worldwide, the most important is affordability (drugs cost more money than is available to pay for them) but legal, infrastructural, distribution and cultural factors are also serious obstacles. The influence of each of these factors is different from country to country, just as frequencies of diseases also vary greatly. Among its activities aimed at improving drug access in developing countries (including technical services such as help in drug procurement and performance of needs estimates), WHO has drawn up a Model List of Essential Drugs, which is updated every two years. The tenth list (1997) has 308 priority drugs that provide safe, effective treatment for the infectious and chronic diseases which affect the vast majority of the world's population. The drugs are selected on the basis of cost-effectiveness within each drug class (e.g. of the dozens of penicillins only eight appear on the Essential Drugs list). With WHO's encouragement, more than 140 countries have developed their own national essential drug lists taking into account local needs, costs and available resources. (excerpt)
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2004 Jun; 82(6):474-476.Since its introduction in 1996, highly active antiretroviral therapy (ART) has enabled people with HIV/AIDS in industrialized countries to live healthier, longer lives and to continue to contribute to the social and economic well-being of their families and societies. However, although 95% of the world's 40 million HIV-positive people are living in developing countries, only about 400 000 of the six million people requiring treatment actually received it in 2003. To address this treatment gap, at the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS in 2001, UN Member States unanimously committed to scaling up ART within their national HIV/AIDS programmes. In late 2003, WHO and UNAIDS declared the inequity in access to HIV/AIDS treatment a global public health emergency and launched the initiative, dubbed "3 by 5", which aims to treat three million people living with HIV in developing countries by the end of 2005. In a special interview with the Bulletin, WHO's Director of HIV/AIDS explains the principles behind the strategy, describes the challenges to its success and recounts the progress made towards achieving the target to date. (excerpt)