AIDS Between Science and Politics by Peter Piot, Laurence Garey

By Peter Piot, Laurence Garey

Peter Piot, founding government director of the Joint United countries Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), recounts his adventure as a clinician, scientist, and activist scuffling with the illness from its earliest manifestation to this present day. The AIDS pandemic used to be not just catastrophic to the healthiness of thousands around the world but in addition fractured diplomacy, worldwide entry to new applied sciences, and public overall healthiness rules in countries around the globe. As he struggled to get prior to the illness, Piot stumbled on technological know-how does little reliable while it operates independently of politics and economics, and politics is valueless if it rejects medical facts and appreciate for human rights.

Piot describes how the epidemic altered international attitudes towards sexuality, the nature of the doctor-patient dating, the impression of civil society in diplomacy, and standard partisan divides. AIDS thrust well-being into nationwide and foreign politics the place, he argues, it rightly belongs. the worldwide response to AIDS during the last decade is the optimistic results of this partnership, exhibiting what could be completed while technology, politics, and coverage converge at the floor. but it is still a delicate success, and Piot warns opposed to complacency and the implications of lowered investments. He refuses to simply accept a global within which excessive degrees of HIV an infection are the norm. as an alternative, he explains the right way to proceed to minimize the prevalence of the illness to minute degrees via either prevention and therapy, until eventually a vaccine is discovered.

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New strategies should also mean more influence over the structural determinants of infection. Integration or better synergy of services—such as for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, reproductive health, family planning, schools, and prevention of tuberculosis and HIV—could improve the efficiency of services and allow more people to have access, though we need to bear in mind that specific HIV prevention programs will remain necessary for those who are not welcome in regular health services.

In addition, they appear to ignore the fact that HIV is not evenly distributed in societies, and that Ro will have to be reduced below one in every subpopulation concerned. An often-raised question is whether differences in the distribution of HIV in the world reflect differences in sexual behavior among countries and cultures. The reply is equivocal, for the relationship between sexual behavior and transmission is complex. 12 An often-raised question is whether differences in the distribution of HIV in the world reflect differences in sexual behavior among countries and cultures.

It thrust health into the realms of national and international politics, where it rightly belongs. 3 What appeared initially as a medical curiosity was overshadowed by other events such as the election of François Mitterrand as president of France, the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and the death of Bob Marley. I was then heavily involved in epidemiological research on sexually transmitted diseases in Africa and Belgium, but far from imagining that this new syndrome would, over more than three decades, affect some seventy million people and cause over thirty million deaths.

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