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  1. 1
    302584

    Silence is death: towards a woman-centred HIV/AIDS prevention.

    Kang N

    UN Chronicle. 2005 Dec; [2] p..

    Secretary-General Kofi Annan highlighted in a BBC interview that the largest demographic group to be targeted by the HIV/AIDS pandemic was women. Taking stock of this reality, he stated: "We've seen women's organizations at the grass-roots level and this is very important, because today in Africa AIDS has a woman's face.... Often they are the innocent victims." The United Nations Children's Fund reported that in sub-Saharan Africa, where prevalence of the disease is most severe, two girls for every boy (aged 15 to 24) are newly infected with the virus, while in the most affected countries the ratio is five to one among the 15-to-19-year-olds). The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) reported in 2004 that worldwide women comprised nearly 50 per cent of adults living with the virus, almost 60 per cent of them in sub-Saharan Africa. In his report "In Larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights For All", Mr. Annan emphasized two imperatives: mobilization of greater political will to formulate and expedite policy decisions related to the disease; and increased financial support for the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Appropriate actions are therefore required to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of combating HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Their reversal and eradication, as well as the overall reduction in mortality rates worldwide, by 2015 is the main goal. The report also encourages Member States to prioritize HIV/AIDS-related initiatives, which would require furthering awareness of the disease while attacking stigmatization. "If there is anything we have learned in the two decades of this epidemic, it is that in the world of AIDS, silence is death", the Secretary-General reflected at the launch of the Global Media AIDS Initiative in January 2004. Silence equals death has become something of a catchphrase with regard to AIDS awareness. (excerpt)
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  2. 2
    286438
    Peer Reviewed

    Can health programmes lead to mistreatment of sex workers?

    Loff B; Overs C; Longo P

    Lancet. 2003 Jun 7; 361:1982-1983.

    The 100% Condom Use Programme (100% CUP) is aimed at female sex workers and, as its name suggests, promotes increased condom usage. Supported by both WHO and the Joint United Nations’ Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS), the programme was initiated in Thailand in 1989. 100% CUP has been regarded as a success story in the campaign to limit the spread of HIV infection. However, the international Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP), an informal alliance of sex worker groups with constituent Asian, African, Latin American, and European networks, does not share this view. It seems obvious that health promotion programmes funded by international agencies ought not to contribute to mistreatment of sex workers. Because sex work tends to be regarded as a behaviour not an occupation— who you are, not what you do—sex workers are often not recognised as legitimate parties to discussions of their conditions of employment. Sex workers are often treated as the object of programmes rather than contributors to them. Yet discussions about sex work without sex worker representation result in an incomplete understanding of the social dynamics of the occupation. It is, therefore, not surprising that programmes such as 100% CUP, developed without consultation with sex worker advocates, have had and continue to have negative repercussions for sex workers. (excerpt)
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  3. 3
    191585
    Peer Reviewed

    Marvellous microbicides. Intravaginal gels could save millions of lives, but first someone has to prove that they work.

    Brown H

    Lancet. 2004 Mar 27; 363(9414):1042-1043.

    Preventing AIDS is theoretically simple: encourage mutual monogamy or consistent condom use. But experts warn that if responsibility for protection stays with men, these interventions will produce only small gains in the fight against AIDS. The majority of women in some parts of sub-Sarahan Africa are in immediate danger of contracting HIV. But these women are powerless to protect themselves because most are dependent on men for economic security, and are often unable to negotiate safe sex. If a method of HIV prevention were available that women could administer themselves, the situation could rapidly become very different. Alan Stone, chairman of the International Working Group on Microbicides believes that microbicides —topical agents that stop the HIV virus being transmitted during intercourse— are the only realistic option. “There is absolutely nothing else on the horizon that could make a large-scale impact”, he says. (excerpt)
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  4. 4
    171577

    A participatory evaluation of the life-skills training programme in Myanmar.

    UNICEF; Population Council

    [New York, New York], Population Council, 2000. viii, 28 p.

    In 1993 UNICEF/Myanmar launched an innovative project aimed at preventing the further spread of HIV/AIDS in Myanmar through the promotion of reproductive health. One of the activities undertaken was life-skills training for women and youth, conducted in collaboration with the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) and the Myanmar Maternal and Child Welfare Association (MMCWA). The objective of the life-skills training activities was to encourage and promote informed decision making and care-seeking behavior among youth and women. The training aims to provide detailed and accurate information concerning sexuality, birth spacing, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and HIV/AIDS, and to provide skills for youth and women to enable them to cope with their daily lives and become proponents of community mobilization. This report presents findings of a participatory evaluation of the life-skills training activities implemented in late 1997 and early 1998. At the time of the evaluation, life-skills training had been conducted in 27 project townships. MRCS activities targeted youth aged 15-25 years, and MMCWA worked primarily with married women aged 20-40 years. Eight project townships were identified as project evaluation areas and one township was selected as a comparison township for each of the implementing organizations. In each of the selected project townships in-depth interviews and focus-group discussions were conducted with trained and non-trained individuals in urban and rural areas. The evaluation used a highly participatory approach in order to encourage self-reflection among the local implementing agencies. This report summarizes the findings and recommendations resulting from the participatory evaluation. (excerpt)
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