by Aldona Martinka
According to a news release from the United Nations’ website, the five year strategy that the World Health Organization announced yesterday could prevent as many as 4.2 million new HIV infections and save as many as 2 million lives.
The strategy for the coming years focuses on four strategic directions: “To optimize HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care outcomes”, “to leverage broader health outcomes through HIV responses”, “to build strong and sustainable health systems “, and “to address inequalities and advance human rights.” Within these directions there are many exciting goals, such as reducing stigmatization of those with HIV/AIDS, promoting human rights where abuses are barriers to getting tested and/or treated, and driving the development of new preventative interventions.
The strategy specifically mentions PrEP, ARV therapy as prevention, and microbicides as potentially effective new interventions, and plans to guide countries in implementing these programs when the results of evaluations become widely available.
This strategy, unanimously adopted by the Sixty-Fourth World Health Assembly, will serve as a guide for the actions of the WHO and for governments worldwide in facing the AIDS crisis in the first half of the second decade of the new millennium.