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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.
In: Workshop on the Integration of AIDS Related Curricula into Family Planning Training Programs, Quality Hotel, Arlington, Virginia, May 10-11, 1988. Documents, distributed by The Family Planning Management Training Project [FPMT] of Management Sciences for Health [MSI] Boston, Massachusetts, Management Sciences for Health, The Family Planning Management Training Project, 1988 May.  p..Current objectives in the fight against AIDS are focused on reducing transmission. International cooperation must be guided by principles including allowing the World Health Organization and participating governments, not donors, to determine policy; work done in developing countries must achieve the same standards as in the US; relationships between health and population programs, donor agencies and governments must be characterized by cooperation, not competition; and flexibility is necessary to respond to new information. Sensitivity is essential, as the control of AIDS involves personal issues, and the diagnosis of AIDS has profound implications. Surveillance is essential to detect and control infection and to guide public policy. As few infections currently result from medical injection, interventions have focused on the difficult problem of modifying sexual behavior, with little success. Social research is essential to determine means of behavior modification and to evaluate their efficacy. A brief history of the AIDS epidemic, as well as a summary of its epidemiology are provided. Efforts to control the spread of AIDS and to care for victims are draining the resources of basic health care programs, interfering with the delivery of primary health care. The extra demands that will be placed on family planning programs, including the shift in emphasis to barrier methods will strain these programs. WHO is currently undertaking a global effort to reduce morbidity and mortality from HIV infections and prevent transmission. Its strategies focus on preventing sexual, blood borne and perinatal transmission, therapeutic drugs against HIV, vaccine development, and helping infected people, and society, deal with the illness. Other agencies which have developed programs are USAID, the DHHS and the Centers for Disease control in the US.