By Peter Piot, Laurence Garey
Peter Piot, founding govt director of the Joint United countries Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), recounts his adventure as a clinician, scientist, and activist struggling with the sickness from its earliest manifestation to at the present time. The AIDS pandemic used to be not just catastrophic to the healthiness of thousands world wide but in addition fractured diplomacy, international entry to new applied sciences, and public healthiness rules in international locations around the globe. As he struggled to get prior to the affliction, Piot stumbled on technological know-how does little reliable whilst it operates independently of politics and economics, and politics is valueless if it rejects medical facts and recognize for human rights.
Piot describes how the epidemic altered worldwide attitudes towards sexuality, the nature of the doctor-patient courting, the impression of civil society in diplomacy, and standard partisan divides. AIDS thrust healthiness into nationwide and foreign politics the place, he argues, it rightly belongs. the worldwide response to AIDS over the last decade is the optimistic results of this partnership, exhibiting what could be completed whilst technological know-how, politics, and coverage converge at the floor. but it continues to be a delicate fulfillment, and Piot warns opposed to complacency and the results of lowered investments. He refuses to simply accept an international within which excessive degrees of HIV an infection are the norm. as a substitute, he explains find out how to proceed to lessen the occurrence of the disorder to minute degrees via either prevention and remedy, until eventually a vaccine is discovered.
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Extra resources for AIDS Between Science and Politics
3 Trends in HIV prevalence for populations at risk, Thailand. “Direct” sex workers include those who are brothel-based or work in a commercial sexual establishment. “Indirect” means sex workers at establishments where sexual services are hidden by entertainment activities, such as karaoke, massage, and restaurants. DATA FROM HIV SENTINEL SURVEILLANCE, UNGASS COUNTRY PROGRESS REPORTS 2008, 2010, AND 2012. In Southeast Asia three countries, Cambodia, Burma, and Thailand, have generalized epidemics, with 1 to 2 percent prevalence among pregnant women.
Furthermore in countries like the Congo, Sudan, Afghanistan, or Somalia political instability, insecurity, and war are major obstacles to surveillance of infectious diseases, including AIDS. In most of these cases a large part of differences in data is not a deliberate intention to hide results but simply that the data are just not available. THE DIVERSIFICATION OF EPIDEMICS When considering AIDS, it is more correct to speak of HIV epidemics rather than a single epidemic. HIV has become endemic in most countries and is seen in different forms within a country, a region, or a continent.
5 million people died from AIDS. 4 The perception of AIDS has been that of a disease that concerns “others” and has been tainted with moral judgment and condemnation. People living with HIV have succeeded in slowly dispelling a vision dominated by evil and guilt through their activist groups, which are well connected with a coalition of young doctors and scientists, of which I was one. They are highlighting men, women, and children fighting for their right to dignity, care, and their active participation in the decision-making processes, as well as in research and in the implementation of programs.