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Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 1996 Jan. 35 p. (UNAIDS/96.5)These guidelines are destined for policy makers and programme planners wishing to introduce national external quality assessment schemes (NEQAS) for serological testing for human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV). They describe some important basic principles and the main practical aspects of NEQAS. The objectives of external quality assessment schemes are briefly discussed below and elsewhere (References 1 and 2 in bibliography, Annex 2). It is now widely accepted that quality assurance, quality control and quality assessment constitute an essential part of HIV testing and of diagnostic testing in general. Quality assessment is one component of a total quality assurance programme. The availability of excellent HIV tests does not automatically guarantee reliable laboratory results. Many steps are involved between the moment when a specimen enters the laboratory and the moment when the result of the test is reported to the physician, and at each step something can go wrong. Therefore each government should ensure that sufficient support is made available for a National Reference Laboratory to provide a suitable programme to monitor and if necessary improve the quality of HIV testing in the country. A well-functioning national programme is an important step towards achieving high-quality laboratory performance nationwide. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, . 10 p. (Facts about UNAIDS)National governments have the primary responsibility for dealing with HIV/AIDS within their own borders, even though many individuals and groups -- from government as well as the wider society -- must be part of the national response. The role of UNAIDS is to strengthen the ability of countries to respond to the epidemic, and to coordinate the UN system's support to that end. To be effective, the national response must be broad-based and multisectoral. AIDS remains an important health issue, but many of the causes and consequences of the epidemic lie outside the health sector. With its unique, collaborative approach, UNAIDS can support countries in the following ways as they mount an expanded response to the epidemic: By advocating more effectively for the introduction of AIDS issues into the country's health, economic and social development agendas. Each UN organization can work with its major counterparts to promote cross-sectoral collaboration; By involving a greater number of partners in AIDS activities. Each UN organization can help involve partners not yet participating in the response to the epidemic, including government departments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector; By allocating resources more efficiently and effectively in support of national efforts. Working together, the UN organizations can identify overlaps, gaps and opportunities for integrating AIDS into related programmes; By making better use of local and regional technical expertise available in the UN system. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 1996. 9 p. (Facts about UNAIDS)Around 6 million people worldwide have died of AIDS since the start of the epidemic. Well over 20 million are living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Already, there are communities and even whole cities where one out of every three adults is infected, and the repercussions of these dense clusters of illness and death will linger for decades. The epidemic and its impact are becoming a permanent challenge to human ingenuity and solidarity. Since the first of January 1996, UNAIDS -- the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS -- has carried the main responsibility within the UN system for helping countries strengthen their long-term capacity to cope with this challenge. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the new programme is cosponsored by six organizations of the UN family -- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Bank. Together with its cosponsors and other partners around the world, UNAIDS is hard at work on its mission -- leading and catalysing an expanded response to the epidemic to improve prevention and care, reduce people's vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, and alleviate the epidemic's devastating social and economic impact. (excerpt)
[Hanover, New Hampshire], Civil-Military Alliance to Combat HIV and AIDS, 1996.  p. (Occasional Paper Series No. 2)CONCLUSION: The armed forces that do not deal with HIV prevention will be condemned to deal with AIDS. One can paraphrase the military leader quoted at the outset of this paper by saying that the armed forces that ignore the mission of HIV prevention will be "destined to repeat the errors of history by failing to perceive the impact of [this] disease." The armed forces of all countries must face the increasing risk of HIV infection in their ranks, and address the prevention of AIDS as a priority mission. (excerpt)
SAfAIDS News. 1996 Jun; 4(2):11-3.The Joint UN Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) estimates that most African countries are carrying a burden of HIV/AIDS that is 100 times heavier than that of industrialized countries. Yet, their ability to fund their efforts against AIDS is often several hundred times less. UNAIDS comments in a Fact Sheet circulated in early 1996 (HIV/AIDS Epidemiology in sub-Saharan Africa) that, while limited resources impede action against the epidemic, they do not make action impossible, particularly if all affected work together to address the problems. What follows is the content of this Fact Sheet, implying the UNAIDS orientation to HIV/AIDS and to program development, followed by a commentary that critiques the UNAIDS approach and suggests a possible change of orientation if UNAIDS is to have a significant impact on the response to the epidemic. (excerpt)
SAfAIDS News. 1996 Jun; 4(2):2-6.The interrelationship between AIDS and the military is fraught with ironies and contradictions. High levels of militarization exacerbate the spread of HIV and AIDS, just as civil unrest and wars disrupt a nation's health and welfare services and its capacity to deal with infection. In addition, HIV and AIDS may be a factor increasing civil unrest and destabilization and, at the same time, decreasing military readiness to cope with the unrest. In addition, high levels of HIV in a nation's armed forces transform the military's protective role into one of risk to the civilian population…This article explores the HIV risk in the military and its consequences for military and civilian populations and looks at potential responses. It also documents the development and focus of the Civil- Military Alliance to Combat HIV and AIDS, an initiative by Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS and the WHO. (excerpt, modified)
TB AND HIV QUARTERLY. 1996 Jun-Aug; (11):7-9.This article presents an interview with Dr. Peter Piot, executive director of the Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) on the role of UNAIDS in the advocacy of HIV vaccines. Piot stressed that an efficient HIV vaccine, truly protective against HIV infection, could make all the difference in the campaign against AIDS. To this effect, the role of the UNAIDS is to carry out advocacy in favor of research as well as to collaborate with the diverse private initiatives that already exist. Commenting on the issue of guaranteed accessibility of HIV vaccine for developing countries, Piot states that it is possible to sell the product through seeking the support of donor organizations. When vaccine trials in a country are supported, it will also be made sure that the basic guarantees exist for making that product accessible to the population. Moreover, considering the impact of the pandemic on the business and economic community, Piot emphasized that alliance between the public and private sector is necessary in the struggle against AIDS. In general, the role of UNAIDS in the evaluation of a preventive vaccine for HIV is centered around communication, impact on community, and impact on prevention programs.
JOURNAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PHYSICIANS IN AIDS CARE. 1996 May; 2(5):54.As of late 1995, the Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimated that almost 13 million adults were infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, 65% of all HIV-infected people worldwide. Half of the 7500 new HIV infections which occur daily worldwide are in sub-Saharan Africa, and more than half of new HIV infections in Africa are to women. Women also carry the main burden of caring for family members with HIV/AIDS. Almost 80% of the 10 million women infected with HIV worldwide reside in sub-Saharan Africa. STDs facilitate the spread of HIV. For example, according to UNAIDS, untreated STDs increase the risk of HIV infection by 300-400%. The World Health Organization estimates that 65 million new cases of curable STDs occurred in Africa in 1995. Trial results from rural Mwanza district, Tanzania, suggest that improving STD treatment services can reduce the incidence of HIV infection by 42%. When parents die, they leave orphans behind. Since AIDS mainly affects people who are at their most productive stage of their levels, the adverse economic effect of AIDS exceeds the measurable costs of medical benefits, sick days, and training replacements.