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ISSUES IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. 1988 Winter; 4(2):43-8.Without a medical miracle, it seems inevitable that the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) pandemic will become not only the most serious public health problem of this generation but a dominating issue in 3rd world development. As a present-day killer, AIDS in developing countries is insignificant compared to malaria, tuberculosis, or infant diarrhea, but this number is misleading in 3 ways. First, it fails to reflect the per capita rate of AIDS cases. On this basis, Bermuda, French Guyana, and the Bahamas have much higher rates than the US. Second, there is extensive underreporting of AIDS cases in most developing nations. Finally, the number of AIDS cases indicates where the epidemic was 5-7 years ago, when these people became infected. Any such projections of the growth of 3rd world AIDS epidemics are at this time based on epidemiologic data from the industrialized rations of the north and on the assumption that the virus acts similarly in the south as it does in the US and Europe. Yet, 3rd world conditions differ. Sexually transmitted diseases usually are more prevalent, and people have a different burden of other diseases and of other stresses to the immune system. In Africa, AIDS already is heavily affecting the mainstream population in some nations. Some regions will approach net population declines over the next decade. How far their populations eventually could decline because of AIDS is unclear and will depend crucially on countermeasures taken or not taken over the next 1-2 years. In purely economic terms, AIDS will affect the direct costs of health care, expenses which are unrealistic for most 3rd world countries. Further, the vast majority of deaths from AIDS in developing countries will occur among those in the sexually active age groups -- the wage earners and food producers. Deaths in this age group also will reduce the labor available for farming and industry. AIDS epidemics also may have significant effects on foreign investment in the 3rd world as well as negative effects on tourism. The global underclass will be disproportionately affected by AIDS as the blacks and Hispanics already are in New York and Miami. Thus far, the reaction of donor countries to the World Health Organization's (WHO) appeal for funds to fight the battle against AIDS has been excellent. The global strategy of WHO places priority on national campaigns, but none of the national campaigns will be effective unless linked to similar actions in other nations to form a vigorous international program. The US has a special responsibility to provide international leadership on AIDS. The US is the world leader in AIDS research and has the bulk of the virus research capacity. Further, no country can come close to matching US experience in dealing with AIDS through "safe sex" education campaigns.
AIDS ACTION. 1988 Dec; (5):3-4.The 1988 Consultation on Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and the Workplace, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), addressed 3 issues: 1) risk factors associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the workplace, 2) the response of businesses and workers to the AIDS epidemic, and 3) use of the workplace for AIDS education. There is no evidence to suggest that HIV can be transmitted by casual, person-to-person contact in the workplace. The central policy issue for businesses concerns protection of the human rights of workers with HIV infection. Most workers with HIV/AIDS want to continue working as long as they are able to, and they should be enabled to contribute their creativity and productivity in a supportive occupational setting. Consistent policies and procedures should be developed at national and enterprise levels before HIV-related questions arise in the workplace. Such policies should be communicated to all concerned, continually reviewed in the light of scientific and epidemiologic evidence, monitored for their successful implementation, and evaluated for their effectiveness. Pre-employment HIV/AIDS screening, whether for assessment of fitness to work or for insurance purposes, should not be required and raises serious concerns about discrimination. Moreover, there should be no obligation on the worker's part to inform his or her employer if HIV infection develops. Information and educational activities at the workplace are essential to create the climate of collective responsibility and mutual understanding required to protect individuals with HIV or AIDS from stigmatization and discrimination by co-workers, employers or clients, and unions.
New York, United Nations, 1984. 108 p. (Population Studies, No. 85; ST/ESA/SER.A/85)The 3 parts of this report on world, regional, and international developments in the field of population, present a summary of levels, trends, and prospects in mortality, fertility, nuptiality, international migration, population growth, age structure, and urbanization; consider some important issues in the interrelationships between economic, social, and demographic variables, with special emphasis on the problems of food supply and employment; and deal with the policies and perceptions of governments on population matters. The 1st part of the report is based primarily on data compiled by the UN Population Division. The 2nd part is based on information provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO), as well as that compiled by the Population Division. The final part is based on information in the policy data bank maintained by the Population Division, including responses to the UN Fourth Population Inquiry among Governments. In 1975-80 the expectation of life at birth for the world was estimated at 57.2 years for both sexes combined. The corresponding figure for the developed and developing regions was 71.9 and 54.7 years, respectively. In 1975-80 the birthrate of the world was estimated at 28.9/1000 population and the gross reproduction rate was 1.91. These figures reflect considerable decline from the levels attained 25 years earlier: a crude birthrate of 38/1000 population and a gross reproduction rate of 2.44. World population grew from 2504 million in 1950 to 4453 million in 1983. Of the additional 1949 million people, 1645 million, or 84%, accrued to the less developed countries. The impact of population growth on economic development and social progress is not well understood. The governments of some developing countries still officially welcome a rapid rate of population growth. Many other governments see cause for concern in the need for the large increases in social expenditure, particularly for health and education, that accompany a young and growing population. Planners are concerned that the rapidly growing supply of labor, compounded by a trend toward rapid urbanization, may exceed that which the job market is likely to absorb. In the developed regions the prospect of a declining, or an aging, population is also cause for apprehension. There is a dearth of knowledge as to the impact of policies for altering the consequences of these trends. Many policies have been tried, in both developed and developing countries, to influence population growth and distribution, but the consequences of such policies have been difficult to assess. Frequently this problem arises because their primary objectives are not demographic in character.