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AFRICA HEALTH. 1997 Nov; 20(1):7.UNAIDS has launched an 'HIV Drug Access Initiative' in the Ivory Coast, Uganda, Chile, and Vietnam; the pilot project will attempt to improve access to HIV drugs. Public and private sector efforts will be coordinated. The Glaxo Wellcome, Hoffman-La Roche, and Virco pharmaceutical companies will participate. Each country will 1) adapt its present system with regard to HIV and 2) establish both an HIV drug advisory board and a non-profit company which will import the drugs. Health ministries within each country will be required to find sources of funding for the programs. Uganda will probably use funds from its sexually transmitted disease (STD) program, which is supported by the World Bank; the Ivory Coast will combine corporate contributions, new tariffs, and non-profit insurance system monies into a 'solidarity fund.' UNAIDS funds will be used for oversight and evaluation. UNAIDS also released a review of 68 studies which examined the impact of sex education on the sex behavior of young people; it indicated that, in 65 of the studies, sex education did not increase the sexual activity of youth. UNAIDS concluded that quality programs helped delay first intercourse and often reduced the number of sexual partners, resulting in reduced rates of STDs and unplanned pregnancy. UNAIDS further concluded that effective sex education should begin before the onset of sexual activity, and curriculums should be focused. Openness in communicating about sex should be encouraged, and social and media influences on behavior should be addressed. Young people should be taught negotiating skills (how to say 'no' to sex and how to insist on safer sex).
POPULI. 1997 May-Jun; 24(2):6-7.Thousands of women worldwide are tricked, obliged, or abducted and sold into bondage and servitude as prostitutes, domestic workers, exploited workers or wives. They are often forced to live and work in conditions similar to slavery. The exploitation of women's bodies and labor has created an international trade system with women going from countries experiencing structural adjustment and/or deforestation to countries with better living standards. Technology, such as the internet, has allowed traders to conduct and expand their business internationally. The International Organization for Migration reports that the trade in women is caused by poverty, the lack of viable economic opportunities, the difference in wealth between countries, and the marginalization of women in their countries of origin. The promotion of tourism as a development strategy has also contributed by encouraging the trade in women for prostitution.
EARTH TIMES. 1997 Jan 1-15; 10(1):5-7.During 1997, the international community will move from the five-year cycle of UN summit-level conferences to a phase in which the policy goals arising from these conferences must be implemented. The success of that implementation will depend upon the choice of starting points; the balance of finance, technology, and political courage; the ability to plan specifics while viewing generalities; and the ability to preserve global responsibility in the face of global economic competition. 1997 will be marked by new UN leadership, by whether the US places environmental issues on par with economic and international affairs, and by how the issue of funding Agenda 21 is resolved. In addition, more women are needed in positions of political and economic leadership at all levels to implement the goals of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). Another concern which must be met in 1997 is the growing divide between the public discussions of the completed UN conference cycle and the private process embraced by the World Trade Organization, which may nullify the terms of many international environmental agreements. The most easily implemented agreement reached at the UNCED was the Climate Change Convention (which would control emissions) but the voluntary target has been effectively scrapped, and 1997 will see the adoption of a realistic goal or admitted failure in implementation. Additional issues include the codification of public policy goals in privatization contracts, stemming current weapons exportation, exposing and decrying unethical expedient alliances between northern fossil fuel industries and developing countries, and promoting wildlife protection.