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  1. 1
    Peer Reviewed

    HIV testing: The mutual rights and responsibilities of partners.

    Dixon-Mueller R; Germain A

    Lancet. 2007 Dec 1; 370(9602):1808-1809.

    Important questions about implementation of the new guidance by WHO and UNAIDS on provider-initiated HIV testing and counselling were raised by Daniel Tarantola and Sofia Gruskin. Their comments and those by other critics centre on individuals' rights to confidentiality, to refuse testing, and to not disclose their status if they fear negative consequences. We are concerned that a singular focus on the individual's rights of refusal overlooks the rights of the individual's sexual partners to protect themselves from HIV. Human rights and public health will be best served by an ethical framework which recognises that both persons in a sexual relationship or exchange have equal rights and responsibilities for their mutual pleasure and protection. Further, these individual rights are meaningless unless each partner respects the rights of the other. Protection of the human rights of both partners needs more commitment from health systems, and from societies, than simply ensuring informed consent and confidentiality. (excerpt)
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  2. 2

    HIV / AIDS: the prioritization of prevention [editorial]

    Ratzan SC

    Journal of Health Communication. 2004; 9:385-386.

    Earlier this year, two major international meetings reminded us of the scourge of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Since HIV/AIDS was first recognized in 1981, this emerging disease has spread relentlessly throughout the world to more than 40 million HIV-positive people, 95% of whom live in developing countries. It now threatens to surpass in total fatalities both the fourteenth-century ‘‘black death’’ and the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic, which killed tens of millions of people. Now as HIV/AIDS is in its third decade the 2004 World Health Organization (WHO) report Changing History calls for a comprehensive HIV/AIDS strategy that links prevention, treatment, care, and long-term support. Similarly, the XV International AIDS Conference in Bangkok also endeavored to link community and science to galvanize the world’s response to HIV/AIDS through increased commitment, leadership, and accountability. In 2003 alone, 5 million new infections occurred—14,000 each day—with an estimated 3 million people with HIV/AIDS dying, 500,000 of whom were children. The growing numbers do not adequately represent the devastation to individuals, families, communities, and societies coping with HIV/AIDS. Further, they do not demonstrate the devastating impact on economies and political stability. (excerpt)
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