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Cape Town, South Africa, Institute for Democracy in South Africa [IDASA], Afrobarometer, 2002 Aug.  p. (Afrobarometer Paper No. 21)This paper marries public opinion survey data from the Afrobarometer with epidemiological data about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in seven Southern African countries. We use this data to examine the degree to which people are aware of the pandemic, and are willing to speak about it. We also use it to examine whether it yields any palpable consequences of the disease in terms of public health. In turn, we also ask whether data on public awareness of AIDS deaths and individual health status corroborate, broadly, existing epidemiological data on HIV/AIDS. Finally, we examine the degree to which HIV/AIDS affects southern Africans’ political priorities, political participation, and expectations for government action. Substantively, we find that nationally representative survey data supports the epidemiological data in many ways, providing an independent corroboration of expected levels of AIDS illness and death across the region. The epidemiological data tell us that people in all seven of these countries are growing ill and dying from AIDS in large numbers. The Afrobarometer surveys tell us that large numbers of the people, in all seven countries, say they know someone who has died of AIDS and are willing to speak about it. Epidemiological estimates of AIDS deaths and popular experiences of AIDS deaths are closely correlated. Many people in these countries tell us that they are frequently ill, although the data do not disclose the nature of their illness. Epidemiological estimates of AIDS illnesses closely mirror the frequency with which people tell us that they are seriously ill. In political terms, the Afrobarometer tells us some surprising things. Even where HIV/AIDS has reached severe levels and people are dying in large and rising numbers, and even where people recognise those deaths as the result of HIV infection, very few of them place HIV/AIDS high on the agenda for government intervention. Rather, the epidemic is superseded in most countries by demands for government action to create jobs, expand the economy, and improve crime and security, or is masked by demands for overall improvements in health-related services. Perhaps Southern Africans perceive HIV/AIDS as a problem for families and communities, and not for governments. Or perhaps – and perhaps more likely – they are engaging in rational prioritisation. Faced with grinding poverty and widespread unemployment, people may be more concerned with getting a chance to earn an income, feed their families, protect themselves from crime and insecurity, and obtain basic health care, than with being saved from a largely invisible killer. (author's)
HEALTH FOR THE MILLIONS. 1991 Aug; 17(4):20-3.Until recently, the only sustained AIDS activity in India has been alarmist media attention complemented by occasional messages calling for comfort and dignity. Public perception of the AIDS epidemic in India has been effectively shaped by mass media. Press reports have, however, bolstered awareness of the problem among literate elements of urban populations. In the absence of sustained guidance in the campaign against AIDS, responsibility has fallen to voluntary health activists who have become catalysts for community awareness and participation. This voluntary initiative, in effect, seems to be the only immediate avenue for constructive public action, and signals the gradual development of an AIDS network in India. Proceedings from a seminar in Ahmedabad are discussed, and include plans for an information and education program targeting sex workers, health and communication programs for 150 commercial blood donors and their agents, surveillance and awareness programs for safer blood and blood products, and dialogue with the business community and trade unions. Despite the lack of coordination among volunteers and activists, every major city in India now has an AIDS group. A controversial bill on AIDS has ben circulating through government ministries and committees since mid-1989, a national AIDS committee exists with the Secretary of Health as its director, and a 3-year medium-term national plan exists for the reduction of AIDS and HIV infection and morbidity. UNICEF programs target mothers and children for AIDS awareness, and blood testing facilities are expected to be expanded. The article considers the present chaos effectively productive in forcing the Indian population to face up to previously taboo issued of sexuality, sex education, and sexually transmitted disease.
[Medico-social prevention, fertility, and development] Prevention medico-sociale, fecondite et developpement.
REVUE TUNISIENNE DE SCIENCES SOCIALES. 1986; 23(84-87):423-510.The author reports on a sample survey of 738 Tunisians, conducted to investigate the impact of preventive and social medicine on health and fertility. The sample population, drawn from the 1975 census, is described. Attention is given to the role played by information sources, particularly mass media, in preventive medicine, alcoholism and the prevention of traffic accidents, and public opinion concerning preventive medicine. Attitudes toward family planning are mentioned in the final section, and a copy of the questionnaire used is included. (ANNOTATION)