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    275559

    Waking the giant: making the case for mainstreaming.

    Osborne K

    Global AIDSLink. 2004 Aug-Sep; (87):16-17.

    The importance of addressing HIV/AIDS from a stronger sexual and reproductive health and rights perspective has over the past few months been gaining increased global momentum and recognition. Earlier this year, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Population, Development and Reproductive Health in the UK commenced their hearings into the very question of integration: its successes, failures and contextual realities. The Glion Call to Action (see page 8)— released in June — specifically addressed the integration aspects involved in PMTCT programs and policies. And in May, UNFPA hosted a series of technical meetings that aimed to explore some of the broader technicalities of integration. This advocacy document was launched in July at the Bangkok XV International AIDS Conference. Clearly, the question of when, where and how to integrate HIV/AIDS with reproductive health has been plaguing programmers and policy makers, donors and service providers. Answering these questions with meaningful action is not only long overdue but — in the age of increased awareness, and treatment access increasingly becoming a reality — it is unarguably the most unexplored terrain of our international response. For it is only with the concerted effort and coordinated involvement of the sexual and reproductive health community that the lofty Millennium Development Goals; the UN General Assembly's Special Session on HIV/AIDS Commitments; the '3 by 5' targets; and even new modalities of reducing HIV/AIDS-related stigma, will be achieved. The mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS is perhaps not only an untapped avenue, but it also has the potential to awake the full potential of a by-and-large under used resource. Getting there, however, would involve a change in mind-set of all the role players involved. A 'business as usual' approach that does not move beyond rhetoric will have damning consequences. The exceptionality of HIV/AIDS as a largely sexually transmitted infection requires an exceptional response — especially from sexual and reproductive health providers. (excerpt)
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