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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEALTH SERVICES. 1991; 21(3):505-10.This article asks the reader to carefully consider the personal implications of AIDS were either he or close friends and relatives afflicted with the syndrome. We are urged to acknowledge the limited capabilities of personal and social response to the epidemic, and recognize the associated degree of social inequity and knowledge deficiency which exists. Summaries of 3 articles are discussed as highly integrated in their common call for global solidarity in the fight against HIV infections and AIDS. Pros and cons of Cuba's evolving response to AIDS are considered, paying attention to the country's recent abandonment of health policy which isolated those infected with HIV, in favor of renewed social integration of these individuals. Brazil's inadequate, untimely, and erred response to AIDS is then strongly criticized in the 2nd article summary. Finally, the 3rd article by Dr. Jonathan Mann, former head of the World Health Organization's Global program on AIDS, on AIDS prevention in the 1990s is discussed. Covering behavioral change and the critical role of political factors in AIDS prevention, Mann asserts the need to apply current concepts and strategies, while developing new ones, and to reassess values and concepts guiding work in the field. AIDS and its associated crises threaten the survival of humanity. It is not just a disease to be solved by information, but is intimately linked to issues of sexuality, health, and human behavior which are in turn shaped by social, political, economic, and cultural factors. Strong, concerted political resolve is essential in developing, implementing, and sustaining an action agenda against AIDS set by people with AIDS and those at risk of infection. Vision, resources, and leadership are called for in this war closely linked to the struggle for worldwide social justice.
Development. 1989; (4):49-51.In 1970, the United Nations adopted a long-term women's advancement program and other initiatives to raise consciousness on women's issues and to identify appropriate actions to take in promoting gender equality and women's integration in development. Setting its objective as equality between the sexes by the year 2000, the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies is also a UN system-wide medium-term plan with specific activities to implement over the period 1990-95. These UN actions have, therefore, prepared the way for women's advancement in the 1990s and beyond. Efforts do, however, need to be made to build upon and expand these initiatives to facilitate the total integration, participation, and recognition of women in the social, economic, and political lives of countries throughout the world. Present UN strategy suffers from multiple focal points, a diffused mandate, limited financial resources, and inadequate interaction with national governments. The development of an UN Special Agency for Women's Development is suggested as a way of solidly propelling women ahead toward globally-recognized equality and greater overall opportunity. This agency would be the umbrella over existing and future related programs and activities, armed with a clear and specific mandate, an independent executive board, an independent fundraising ability, institutional arrangements to undertake in-country projects, and field offices.
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.
PEOPLE. 1989; 16(4):3-5.There is no real justification for being seriously concerned about family planning in the 1990s, except within the perspective of getting a 'new deal' for development. Such a deal has to break through the cynical noncommunication between north and south, a cynicism epitomized by the foot-dragging of the rich countries over debt crisis whereby, almost by design, millions and millions of people are being pushed deeper and deeper into poverty. There is no 'new deal' on the horizon, but there is, for example, the 'new' discovery that if people are merely pawns in the economic growth game then the game is lost for the underprivileged. It is of the greatest importance that institutions like the World Bank recognize that we must find a balance between social productivity and economic productivity--and understand how intimately these are intertwined. There will be a temptation in the 1990s, as demands for services grow, to think that International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) should concentrate on what it knows and does best: family planning. But it must also advocate at every level: for women, for children, for the environment, and for all aspects of the fight against poverty. Looking more specifically at the challenges for family planning in the next decade, the real breakthrough has come on the demand side. Some 300 million families are out of reach of the services they need and mostly want, if they could only be performed. (author's modified)
Family Planning Perspectives. November-December 1977; 9(6):286-292.When Margaret Sanger initiated the American birth control movement in the early twentieth century, she stressed female and sexual liberation. Victorian views on morality have since combined with the compromises necessitated to achieve legitimacy for the movement to lead to a desexualization of the birth control movement. The movement's communication now concentrates on reproduction and ignores sex; it emphasizes family planning and population control but does not mention sexual pleasure. Taboos against publicity concerning contraceptives are more powerful even than laws restricting the sale or distribution of contraceptives themselves in many countries. The movement must recover its earlier revolutionary stance.