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Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care. 2008 Oct; 34(4):269-70.User choice is central to contraceptive practice, as opposed to therapeutic care where the view of the prescriber tends to prevail. Provider organisations have to make difficult decisions in selecting the methods of contraception that are offered, particularly with the multitude of new products and the controversies that have surrounded the value of some of them. The World Health Organization (WHO) Model List of Essential Medicines is a valuable tool in strengthening the provision of contraceptive commodities as part of international development efforts.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2007. 8 p. (WHO/RHR/07.7)Faced with the challenge of putting into practice the ideals of the Millennium Development Goals, the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), and other global summits of the last decade, decision-makers and programme managers responsible for sexual and reproductive health ask how they can: improve access to and the quality of family planning and other sexual and reproductive health services; increase skilled attendance at birth and strengthen referral systems; reduce the recourse to abortion and improve the quality of existing abortion services; provide information and services that respond to young people's needs; and integrate the prevention and treatment of reproductive tract infections, including HIV/AIDS, with other sexual and reproductive health services. (excerpt)
The practice of charging user fees at the point of service delivery for HIV / AIDS treatment and care.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2005 Dec.  p. (WHO Discussion Paper; WHO/HIV/2005.11)The global movement to expand access to antiretroviral treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS as part of a comprehensive response to the HIV pandemic is grounded in both the human right to health and in evidence on public-health outcomes. However, for many individuals in poor communities, the cost of treatment remains an insurmountable obstacle. Even with sliding fee scales, cost recovery at the point of service delivery is likely to depress uptake of antiretroviral treatment and decrease adherence by those already receiving it. Therefore, countries are being advised to adopt a policy of free access at the point of service delivery to HIV care and treatment, including antiretroviral therapy. This recommendation is based on the best available evidence and experience in countries. It is warranted as an element of the exceptional response needed to turn back the AIDS epidemic. With the endorsement by G8 leaders in July 2005 and UN Member States in September 2005 of efforts to move towards universal access to HIV treatment and care by 2010, health sector financing strategies must now move to the top of the international agenda. Rapid scale-up of programmes within the framework of the "3 by 5" target has underscored the challenge of equity, particularly for marginalized and rural populations. It is apparent that user charges at the point of service delivery "institutionalize exclusion" and undermine efforts towards universal access to health services. Abolishing them, however, requires prompt, sustained attention to long-term health system financing strategies, at both national and international levels. (excerpt)
Towards universal access: scaling up priority HIV / AIDS interventions in the health sector. Progress report, April 2007.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2007 Apr. 88 p.Drawing on lessons from the scale-up of HIV interventions over the last few years, WHO, as the UNAIDS cosponsor responsible for the health sector response to HIV/AIDS, has established priorities for its technical work and support to countries on the basis of the following five Strategic Directions, each of which represents a critical area where the health sector must invest if significant progress is to be made towards achieving universal access. Enabling people to know their HIV status; Maximizing the health sector's contribution to HIV prevention; Accelerating the scale-up of HIV/AIDS treatment and care; Strengthening and expanding health systems; Investing in strategic information to guide a more effective response. In this context, WHO undertook at the World Health Assembly in May 2006 to monitor and evaluate the global health sector response in scaling up towards universal access and to produce annual reports. This first report addresses progress in scaling up the following health sector interventions. Antiretroviral therapy; Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT); HIV testing and counseling; Interventions for injecting drug users (IDUs); Control of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) to prevent HIV transmission; Surveillance of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2007.  p. (UNAIDS/07.07E; JC1274E)These Practical Guidelines for Intensifying HIV Prevention: Towards Universal Access are designed to provide policy makers and planners with practical guidance to tailor their national HIV prevention response so that they respond to the epidemic dynamics and social context of the country and populations who remain most vulnerable to and at risk of HIV infection. They have been developed in consultation with the UNAIDS cosponsors, international collaborating partners, government, civil society leaders and other experts. They build on Intensifying HIV Prevention: UNAIDS Policy Position Paper and the UNAIDS Action Plan on Intensifying HIV Prevention. In 2006, governments committed themselves to scaling up HIV prevention and treatment responses to ensure universal access by 2010. While in the past five years treatment access has expanded rapidly, the number of new HIV infections has not decreased - estimated at 4.3 (3.6-6.6) million in 2006 - with many people unable to access prevention services to prevent HIV infection. These Guidelines recognize that to sustain the advances in antiretroviral treatment and to ensure true universal access requires that prevention services be scaled up simultaneously with treatment. (excerpt)
Lancet. 2007 Sep 22; 370(9592):1013-1015.Although substantial progress has been made in addressing the burden of communicable and vaccine-preventable diseases in low-income and middle-income countries, the burden of diseases that are surgically treatable is increasing and has been neglected. Both morbidity and mortality from surgically preventable (eg, elective hernia repair) or treatable (eg, strangulated hernia) disorders can be greatly decreased through simple surgical interventions. Why should a child die from appendicitis, or a mother and child succumb to obstructed labour, when simple surgical procedures can save their lives? Why should patients suffer permanent disability because of congenital abnormalities, fractures, burns, or the sequelae of acute infections such as septic arthritis or osteomyelitis? Many complications of HIV infection (eg, abscesses, fistulas, Kaposi sarcoma) are also amenable to simple surgical interventions. Available epidemiological information and experiential evidence lend support to the conclusion that basic surgical and anaesthetic services should be integrated into primary health-care packages. (excerpt)
UNAIDS and WHO Consultation on Progress in Prevention and Care in the Context of the "3 By 5 Initiative" and the Perspective of Universal Access in the Western Pacific Region, 12-16 December 2005, Manila, Philippines. Report.
Manila, Philippines. WHO, Regional Office for the Western Pacific, .  p. ((WP)HSI/ICP/HSI/3.5/001; Report Series No. RS/2005/GE/45(PHL))The WHO Western Pacific Regional Office, in collaboration with the Joint United Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), organized the four-day UNAIDS and WHO Consultation on Progress in Prevention and Care in the Context of the "3 by 5" Initiative and the Perspective of Universal Access in the Western Pacific Region with the general objective that, by the end of the consultation, the participants would have: (1) reviewed progress made on prevention and care scale-up in the context of the "3 by 5" Initiative; (2) shared experiences among countries on the current performance of monitoring and evaluation systems related to HIV/AIDS care, treatment and support: (3) identified ways to strengthen the integration of HIV/AIDS prevention and care: and (4) defined the conditions and terms of reference of a partners technical working group on HIV/AIDS prevention and care scale-up in the Western Pacific Region. (excerpt)
Improving access to quality care in family planning: WHO's four cornerstones of evidence-based guidance.
Journal of Reproduction and Contraception. 2007 Jun; 18(2):63-71.The four cornerstones of guidance in technique service of family planning are established by WHO based on high quality evidences. They have been updated according to the appearing new evidences, and the consensuses were reached by the international experts in this field. The four documents include Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use, Decision-making Tool for Family Planning Clients and Providers and The Global Handbook for Family Planning Providers. The first two documents mainly face to the policy-makers and programme managers and were treated as the important references for creating the local guideline. The other two documents were developed for the front-line health-care and family planning providers at different levels, which include plenty of essential technical information to help providers improve their ability in service delivery and counselling. China paid great attention to the introduction and application of WHO guidelines. As soon as the newer editions of these documents were available, the Chinese version would be followed. WHO guidelines have been primarily adapted with the newly issued national guideline, The Clinical Practical Skill Guidelines- Family Planning Part, which was established by China Medical Association. At the same time, the WHO guidelines have been introduced to some of the clinicians and family planning providers at different levels. In the future, more special training courses will be introduced to the township level based on the needs of grass-root providers. (author's)
Long-acting and permanent contraception: An international development, service delivery perspective.
Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health. 2007 Jul-Aug; 52(4):361-367.Recent scientific findings about long-acting and permanent methods of contraception underscore their safety, effectiveness, and wide eligibility for individuals who desire them. This has led to new guidance from the World Health Organization to inform national policies, guidelines, and standards for service delivery. Although developing countries have made much progress in expanding the availability and use of family planning services, the need for effective contraception in general (and long-acting and permanent methods in particular) is large and growing because the largest cohorts in human history are entering their reproductive years. More than half a billion people will use contraception in developing countries (excluding China) by 2015, an increase of 200 million over levels of use in 2000. The health, development, and equity rationales that historically have underpinned and energized the international family planning effort remain valid and relevant today. Despite the other compelling challenges faced by the international health community, the need to make family planning services more widely available is pressing and should remain a priority. (author's)
Journal of Tropical Pediatrics. 2007 Jun; 53(3):147-149.Tuberculosis (TB) kills about 2 million adults and around 100 000 children every year. One-third of the world's population are currently infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and many have active disease. In Europe TB emerged as a major disease in the latter part of the 14th century. The industrial revolution saw rapid growth of urban centres where overcrowding with poor living conditions provided ideal circumstances for the spread of the disease. Great impact was made by streptomycin and isoniazid, so that by the 1970s TB was no longer being considered a problem in the developed world. But beginning in the 1980s the number of new cases of TB in USA and across Europe rose sharply. The pattern was repeated in many countries and worldwide throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium. The incidence of TB climbed to over 9 million cases every year. In 1993 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared TB as a global emergency. During the 1990s multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), defined as resistance to at least isoniazid and rifampicin, emerged as a threat to TB control. MDR-TB requires the use of second line drugs that are less effective, more toxic and costlier. In a global survey of 17 690 TB isolates during 2000-04, 20% were MDR and 2% were extremely drug resistant (XDR). XDR-TB is defined as MDR plus resistance to any fluoroquinolones and at least one of three injectable second line drugs kanamycin and amikacin, or capreomycin or both. Currently one in ten new infections is resistant to at least one antituberculosis drug. (excerpt)
London, England, International Community of Women Living with HIV / AIDS, 2006.  p.WHO supported ICW to map positive women's experiences of access to care and treatment in three countries - Namibia, Kenya and Tanzania. The findings will contribute to advocacy for increased political support and resources to address gendered barriers to care, treatment and support. The project complements a mapping and database of civil society organizations (CSOs) providing treatment by the French consortium - SIDACTION. This mapping presents results from three focus group discussions with HIV positive women conducted in two districts of Tanzania - Arusha and Moshi (2006). Women who participated in these focus group discussions were aged between 30 to 45. Most of them came from villages Munduli (Arusha) and Seliani (Moshi). Three focus groups were also conducted with men only in Arusha. A mixed-sex focus group was conducted in Chalinze in the Bagamoyo district (Dar es Salaam coastal area) with men and women aged between 35 and 42. There were between 12 - 15 participants in each group in Arusha and Mosh. However, in Chalinze there were only 8 people. Results from the mixed sex and men only focus groups are presented here but the main emphasis is on the results from the women only focus groups. Medical personnel were also interviewed and their experiences are included. (excerpt)
London, England, International Community of Women Living with HIV / AIDS, 2006.  p.Namibia, Kenya and Tanzania. The findings will contribute to advocacy for increased political support and resources to address gendered barriers to care, treatment and support. The project complements a mapping and database of civil society organizations (CSOs) providing treatment by the French consortium - SIDACTION. The research was carried out in Homabay (rural) and Kibera community (urban) involving women and men living with HIV and AIDS (13th December 2005 - 31st January 2006). Data was gathered through questionnaires and focus group discussions (FGDs). Women who participated in the focus group discussions were aged between 22 - 45 years old and in total 100 people took part in the project, including questionnaire respondents. The service providers in both sites were of varied age group (28-45 years) and both female and male service providers participated in the focus group discussions. Results from the mixed sex and service provider focus groups are presented here but the main emphasis is onthe results from the women only focus groups. (excerpt)
Lancet. 2007 Apr 21; 369(9570):1320.In June, 2006, UN member states at the High Level Meeting on AIDS committed themselves to provide universal access to comprehensive prevention pro grammes, treatment, care, and support by 2010. This week WHO, UNAIDS, and UNICEF publish the first report about progress towards this goal. Sadly, there is little for the international community to be pleased about. Although 2 million people had access to antiretroviral therapy at the end of 2006, 5 million were still in need of treatment. Some progress has been made in reducing the costs of first-line antiretrovirals. In low-income and middle-income countries the prices of most first-line drugs decreased by between 37% and 53% from 2003 to 2006, contributing substantially to the wider availability of treatment. But more patients put on treatment will inevitably be accompanied by increasing HIV-drug resistance. Second-line drugs, and new types of antiretroviral drugs in the future, such as the integrase inhibitors, have the potential to offer new treatment options for patients whose disease no longer responds to first-line drugs. But unless prices for second-line regimens fall substantially, budgetary constraints mean treatment programmes will be put at risk. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2006 Mar 30.  p.This independent formative evaluation was conducted by a team of six international consultants between August 2005 and January 2006 to appraise WHO's contributions and roles in implementing the "3 by 5" Initiative. Funded by the Canadian Government, and as a requirement for its grant to WHO, the evaluation investigated all three levels at which WHO operates (headquarters, regional offices and country offices), placing particular emphasis on Africa. This included seven country assessments and an extensive consultation of international and country-level partners and stakeholders. A number of focused technical studies were also commissioned. The evaluation reviewed how effectively WHO provided technical, managerial and administrative guidance and support pursuant to the "3 by 5" goals and target. An assessment was also made of the extent to which WHO has mobilized, sustained and contributed to this major global partnership through improving harmonization between United Nations agencies and working with other stakeholders and partners. Key lessons from "3 by 5" have been documented, including those on how the initiative contributed to health systems strengthening and HIV prevention, as well as the ways with which equity and gender concerns were dealt. Potential opportunities for future collaboration between WHO, main donors and partners were identified and recommendations have been provided for future plans and the way forward for WHO and its partners. (excerpt)
The Maputo report. WHO support to countries for scaling up essential interventions towards universal coverage in Africa.
Brazzaville, Congo, WHO, 2006. 33 p. (WHO/CCO/06.02)The African region accounts for 10% of the world's population yet is confronted with 20% of the global burden of disease. African nations are faced with high levels of poverty, with 39% of the population below the poverty line; and slow economic growth, with annual per capita expenditure on health in most countries limited to between US$ 10 and US$ 29. Other well-documented challenges to the region include limited financial and human resources, uncoordinated and inconsistent policy action on the determinants of health, limited use of knowledge and evidence to inform policies, and frequent occurrences of natural and man-made disasters. Although much has happened, WHO requires radical new approaches for how it does business in the region. The 21st century presents extensive opportunities for improving health in the region -- building on the momentum of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), resolutions of the WHO World Health Assembly (WHA) and the Regional Committee, coordinated work of the African Union, and the strategic framework of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) -- offering opportunities for the mobilization of political, technical and other resources for the region. In addition to health investments from national, bilateral and multilateral sources, commitments are being crystallized in distinct initiatives such as the Millennium Challenge Account, the Presidential Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Report on the Commission for Africa, the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI). These initiatives come at a time when international agreements such as the Paris Declaration reaffirm the importance of countries taking the lead in their own health agendas in regards to international development assistance. (excerpt)
Engaging all health care providers in TB control. Guidance on implementing public-private mix approaches.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], Stop TB Department, 2006. 52 p. (WHO/HTM/TB/2006.360)A great deal of progress has been made in global tuberculosis control in recent years through the large-scale implementation of DOTS. It has been acknowledged though that TB control efforts worldwide, although impressive, are not sufficient. The global TB targets -- detecting 70% of TB cases and successfully treating 85% of them, and halving the prevalence and mortality of the disease by 2015 as part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) -- are likely to be met only if current efforts are intensified. Among the important interventions required to reach these goals would be a systematic involvement of all relevant health care providers in delivering effective TB services to all segments of the population. Therefore, engaging all health care providers in TB control is an essential component of WHO's new Stop TB strategy¹ and the Stop TB Partnership's Global Plan to Stop TB 2006-2015. (excerpt)
Washington, D.C., Population Reference Bureau [PRB], 2006 Apr. 5 p.As if the global AIDS pandemic alone were not enough, developing countries are beset with converging epidemics of HIV and tuberculosis (TB)--increasing the likelihood of premature death in these countries. Worldwide, 14 million people are coinfected with TB and HIV--70 percent of those in sub-Saharan Africa (see figure for five countries with particularly high coinfection rates). TB is the leading cause of death for those infected with HIV and is implicated in up to one-half of all AIDS deaths. And because HIV compromises the immune system, HIV-positive people are 50 times more likely to develop active TB than those who are HIV-negative. (excerpt)
National adult antiretroviral therapy guidelines in South Africa: concordance with 2003 WHO guidelines?
AIDS. 2007 Jan 2; 21(1):121-122.We read with interest the article by Beck and colleagues who examined the adult antiretroviral therapy (ART) guidelines in 43 World Health Organization (WHO) '3 by 5' focus countries. The authors found that the national guidelines of a majority of countries had a good degree of concordance with the WHO 2003 guidelines. Although concordance was noted to be inversely related to health expenditure per capita, the authors did not further explore the reasons why some countries have adopted guidelines that differ from the current WHO recommendations. One such country is South Africa, which has among the highest per capita income of countries in sub-Saharan Africa and also has much better healthcare infrastructure than most. Despite these resources, the South African national ART programme currently bases its treatment guidelines on the former WHO 2002 guidelines that recommend ART only for patients with WHO stage 4 disease (AIDS) or a blood CD4 cell count of less than 200 cells/ml. We believe these guidelines advocate treatment at too late a stage of disease and that they represent a compromise that may substantially undermine the effectiveness of the programme in the long term. (excerpt)
JAMA. 2001 Sep 26; 286(12):1444.The 20th anniversary of the first diagnosis of HIV infection has come and gone. So has the razzmatazz surrounding the UN General Assembly's Special Session on AIDS in June. Headlines made when UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appealed for the world to act on the global emergency AIDS represents have been superseded by other events. It's back to business as usual. Or is it? It must not be. The AIDS crisis is as real now as a few months ago, and it will continue to grow unless the world is constantly reminded of it and plans to stem the epidemic are turned into action. The recent focus on AIDS among the poorest countries of the world--in particular in Africa--may have given an impression that those who live in countries with stable or declining infection rates no longer need to worry. Recent infection figures in the United States showing disturbing increases in some population groups prove this is not so. And the effects of globalization mean that there no longer is such a thing as a localized health problem. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a global emergency and it calls for global commitment and action. UN Secretary-General Annan recently asserted that "AIDS can no longer do its deadly work in the dark. The world has started to wake up." Frighteningly, it has taken 22 million deaths and 13 million orphaned children to act as a global alarm clock. Today, there are 36 million people living with HIV/AIDS. (author's)
Antiretroviral treatment for injecting drug users in developing and transitional countries 1 year before the end of the "Treating 3 million by 2005. Making it happen. The WHO strategy" (‘3 by 5').
Addiction. 2006 Sep; 101(9):1246-1253.The objective was to describe and estimate the availability of antiretroviral treatment (ART) to injecting drug users (IDUs) in developing and transitional countries. Literature review of grey and published literature and key informants' communications on the estimated number of current/former injecting drug users (IDUs) receiving ART and the proportion of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) attributed to injecting drug use (IDU), the number of people in ART and in need of ART, the number of people living with HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) (PLWHA) and the main source of ART. Data on former/current IDUs on ART were available from 50 countries (in 19 countries: nil IDUs in treatment) suggesting that ~34 000 IDUs were receiving ART by the end of 2004, of whom 30 000 were in Brazil. In these 50 countries IDUs represent ~15% of the people in ART. In Eastern European and Central Asia IDU are associated with > 80% of HIV cases but only ~2000 (14%) of the people in ART. In South and South-East Asia there were ~1700 former/current IDUs receiving ART (~1.8% of the people in ART), whereas the proportion of HIV cases associated to IDU is > 20% in five countries (and regionally ranges from 4% to 75%). There is evidence that the coverage of ART among current/former IDUs is proportionally substantially less than other exposure categories. Ongoing monitoring of ART by exposure and population subgroups is critical to ensuring that scale-up is equitable, and that the distribution of ART is, at the very least, transparent. (author's)
[Washington, D.C.], Population Council, Frontiers in Reproductive Health, 2006 Jun.  p. (USAID Cooperative Agreement No. HRN-A-00-98-00012-00)The Government of Ghana has adopted the WHO focused antenatal care (ANC) package in a move to improve access, quality and continuity of ANC services to pregnant women. As part of these efforts, the Government has exempted fees for ANC clients. The main objective of this study, undertaken by Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS), FRONTIERS, and with USAID funding, was to examine the extent to which adaptation of the package influenced quality of care received by pregnant women and its acceptability to both providers and clients. The study used a policy analysis and a situation analysis in ten intervention clinics in which the package had been introduced and four comparison clinics. Data were collected through key informant interviews, focused group discussions, client exit interviews, client card reviews, observations of provider-client interactions and review of facility records. (excerpt)
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2006 Jul; 84(7):506.June 2006 marks the 25th anniversary of a report of five cases of Pneumocystis carinii (now jirovecii) pneumonia in men who have sex with men, heralding the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Over 65 million infections with the causative agent, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), have now caused at least 25 million deaths. Following recognition at the XI International Conference on AIDS in 1996, that combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) dramatically improves survival, various initiatives have helped to bring treatment to people with HIV/AIDS in developing countries. Although the target of treating 3 m people by the end of 2005 (WHO's "3 by 5" initiative) was not reached, about 1.3 m people now receive ART in low- and middle-income countries. Major lessons from the initiative include the utility of country-owned targets in mobilizing efforts and promoting accountability, the need for extensive partnerships to scale up activities, the importance of identifying and resolving health systems constraints, the challenges of ensuring equity, and the synergy between treatment initiatives and a simultaneous scaling-up of HIV prevention. (excerpt)
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 1949; 2:139-154.International action on venereal diseases was considered urgent by the Interim Commission of WHO, which decided that a survey of the scientific, practical and other aspects of the problem should be made, with a view to developing practical plans for the international combating of venereal diseases. On the basis of a preliminary worldwide survey by the Secretariat with regard to the nature and extent of the problem, an expert committee was established, and at its first session outlined the principles and scope of an international venereal-disease programme, which subsequently became the basis for the programme approved by the first Health Assembly. Particular emphasis was placed on the continuation of the work on serological standardization of the Health Organization of the League of Nations, the establishment of norms for venereal-disease treatment, the promotion of wider availability of anti-venereal drugs, and the co-ordination of the WHO programme with those of other international organizations. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2005 Dec.  p. (UNAIDS/05.19E)Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognized in 1981, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. Despite recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed 3.1 million [2.8--3.6 million] lives in 2005; more than half a million (570 000) were children. The total number of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) reached its highest level: an estimated 40.3 million [36.7--45.3 million] people are now living with HIV. Close to 5 million people were newly infected with the virus in 2005. There is ample evidence that HIV does yield to determined and concerted interventions. Sustained efforts in diverse settings have helped bring about decreases in HIV incidence among men who have sex with men in many Western countries, among young people in Uganda, among sex workers and their clients in Thailand and Cambodia, and among injecting drug users in Spain and Brazil. Now there is new evidence that prevention programmes initiated some time ago are finally helping to bring down HIV prevalence in Kenya and Zimbabwe, as well as in urban Haiti. The number of people living with HIV has increased in all but one region in the past two years. In the Caribbean, the second-most affected region in the world, HIV prevalence overall showed no change in 2005, compared with 2003. (excerpt)
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2006 May; 84(5):338.The context for this theme collection is the publication of the report of the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Public Health. The report of the Commission -- instigated by WHO's World Health Assembly in 2003 -- was an attempt to gather all the stakeholders involved to analyse the relationship between intellectual property rights, innovation and public health, with a particular focus on the question of funding and incentive mechanisms for the creation of new medicines, vaccines and diagnostic tests, to tackle diseases disproportionately affecting developing countries. In reality, generating a common analysis in the face of the divergent perspectives of stakeholders, and indeed of the Commission, presented a challenge. As in many fields -- not least in public health -- the evidence base is insufficient and contested. Even when the evidence is reasonably clear, its significance, or the appropriate conclusions to be drawn from it, may be interpreted very differently according to the viewpoint of the observer. (excerpt)