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  1. 1
    303857

    The challenge of HIV / AIDS.

    Brown MM

    Choices. 2001 Dec; 4.

    We are facing the most devastating global epidemic in modern history. Over 60 million people have been infected. In the worst affected countries one in four adults are now living with HIV/AIDS, a disproportionate number of younger women and girls. More than 80 percent are in their twenties. The result is a devastating hollowing out of communities, leaving only the very young and the very old and thrusting millions of families deeper into poverty. Meeting this challenge means progress on three fronts: first, preventing new infections and reversing the spread of the epidemic; second, expanding equitable access to new HIV treatments; third, alleviating the disastrous impact of AIDS on human development. Effectively responding to HIV/AIDS requires a wide range of initiatives under strong national political leadership, including sex education in schools, public awareness campaigns, programmes in the workplace, mobilization of religious and community leaders, action to mitigate the impact on poverty and essential social services, support for orphans and tough policy decisions in ministries of finance to ensure optimal allocation of resources to cope with the crisis. (excerpt)
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  2. 2
    303859

    Realizing our victories.

    Berkman A

    Choices. 2004; 7.

    I left the 1998 International AIDS Conference in Geneva frustrated and angry. The slogan of the conference--'Bridging the Gap'--was right on target, but none of the major players in the conference (the international agencies, governments, the big pharmaceutical companies) offered a vision, let alone a strategy, for making life-saving treatments available to the millions of HIV-positive people in poor and developing countries. As has been true since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, it was left to HIV-positive people themselves and to advocacy groups to formulate demands, mobilize the political support to challenge the status quo and lead in the development of new policies. Dramatic changes have occurred between 1998's 'Bridging the Gap' and 2004's 'Access for All' conferences. In the intervening six years, an alliance of NGOs from around the world with a bloc of progressive poor and developing countries has won significant victories: It is no longer morally acceptable to do nothing about the death and suffering of millions; The broader global AIDS community has accepted that any effective approach to stopping the epidemic must include treatment as well as prevention and mitigation. (excerpt)
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