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  1. 1
    303410
    Peer Reviewed

    The HIV-AIDS pandemic at 25 - the global response.

    Merson MH

    New England Journal of Medicine. 2006 Jun 8; 354(23):2414-2417.

    On June 5, 1981, when the Centers for Disease Control reported five cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in young homosexual men in Los Angeles, few suspected it heralded a pandemic of AIDS. In 1983, a retrovirus (later named the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV) was isolated from a patient with AIDS. In the 25 years since the first report, more than 65 million persons have been infected with HIV, and more than 25 million have died of AIDS. Worldwide, more than 40 percent of new infections among adults are in young people 15 to 24 years of age. Ninety-five percent of these infections and deaths have occurred in developing countries. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to almost 64 percent of the estimated 38.6 million persons living with HIV infection. In this region, women represent 60 percent of those infected and 77 percent of newly infected persons 15 to 24 years of age. AIDS is now the leading cause of premature death among people 15 to 59 years of age. In the hardest-hit countries, the foundations of society, governance, and national security are eroding, stretching safety nets to the breaking point, with social and economic repercussions that will span generations. (excerpt)
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  2. 2
    299605
    Peer Reviewed

    The human right to the highest attainable standard of health: new opportunities and challenges.

    Hunt P

    Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2006 Jul; 100(7):603-607.

    The health and human rights communities have much in common. Recently, the international community has begun to devote more attention to the right to the highest attainable standard of health (‘the right to health’). Today, this human right presents health and human rights professionals with a range of new opportunities and challenges. The right to health is enshrined in binding international treaties and constitutions. It has numerous elements, including the right to health care and the underlying determinants of health, such as adequate sanitation and safe water. It empowers disadvantaged individuals and communities. If integrated into national and international policies, it can help to establish policies that are meaningful to those living in poverty. The author introduces his work as the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health. By way of illustration, he briefly considers his interventions on Niger’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, Uganda’s neglected (or tropical or poverty-related) diseases, and the recent US—Peru trade negotiations. With the maturing of human rights, health professionals have become an indispensable part of the global human rights movement. While human rights do not provide magic solutions, they have a constructive contribution to make. The failure to use them is a missed opportunity of major proportions. (author's)
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