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    Ancient remedies, new disease: involving traditional healers in increasing access to AIDS care and prevention in East Africa. UNAIDS Case Study.

    King R

    Geneva, Switzerland, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS], 2002 Jun. [56] p. (UNAIDS Best Practice Collection; UNAIDS Case Study; UNAIDS/02.16E; PN-ACP-802)

    In the 20 years that it has been with us, AIDS has continued its relentless spread across continents. By the end of 2000, the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) reported that 36.1 million men, women and children were living with HIV around the world and 21.8 million had died. Though AIDS is now found in every country, it has most seriously affected sub-Saharan Africa—home to 70% of all adults and 80% of all children living with HIV, and the continent with the fewest medical resources in the world. AIDS is now the primary cause of death in Africa and it has had a devastating impact on villages, communities and families on the continent. In many African countries, the numbers of new infections are increasing at a rate that threatens to destroy the social fabric. Life expectancies are decreasing rapidly in many of these countries as a result of AIDS-related illnesses and socioeconomic hardships. And of the 13.2 million children orphaned by HIV/AIDS worldwide, 12.1 million are in Africa. In the past, AIDS-control activities relied on giving information about HIV transmission, and imparting practical skills to enable individuals to reduce their risk of HIV infection and care for themselves if infected. There is a growing awareness, however, that sociocultural factors surrounding the individual need to be considered in designing both prevention and care interventions. As the epidemic continues to ravage the low- and middle-income world, it becomes increasingly evident that diverse strategies to confront the wide-ranging and complex social, cultural, environmental and economic contexts in which HIV continues to spread must be researched, tested, evaluated, adapted and adopted. (excerpt)
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