AIDS Between Science and Politics by Peter Piot, Laurence Garey

By Peter Piot, Laurence Garey

Peter Piot, founding govt director of the Joint United international locations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), recounts his event as a clinician, scientist, and activist battling the illness from its earliest manifestation to this day. The AIDS pandemic used to be not just catastrophic to the future health of hundreds of thousands all over the world but additionally fractured diplomacy, worldwide entry to new applied sciences, and public healthiness regulations in international locations around the globe. As he struggled to get sooner than the affliction, Piot discovered technological know-how does little strong whilst 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 worldwide attitudes towards sexuality, the nature of the doctor-patient dating, the effect of civil society in diplomacy, and standard partisan divides. AIDS thrust future health 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, displaying what may be completed while technological know-how, politics, and coverage converge at the flooring. but it is still a delicate fulfillment, and Piot warns opposed to complacency and the results of diminished investments. He refuses to simply accept a global during which excessive degrees of HIV an infection are the norm. in its place, he explains how one can proceed to minimize the occurrence of the disorder to minute degrees via either prevention and remedy, till a vaccine is discovered.

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7 million when new data became available from a much larger number of epidemiological surveillance sites than before. In spite of data from sentinel surveillance and behavioral and serological surveys it remains difficult to estimate national HIV prevalence even in countries with well-functioning systems. When new data and better methods become available estimates are updated, sometimes generating controversy or even conspiracy theories. Reliance on complex statistical models is indispensable for obtaining the best estimates and predicting future evolution.

Furthermore, there was the opening speech in the local cricket stadium by President Mbeki who cited, in a long litany extracted from a WHO report, an extensive list of tropical diseases affecting the region. Then he described the enormous disparities in living conditions between countries of the north and south, concluding that AIDS was a disease of poverty and malnutrition, and not an infection due to a sexually transmitted virus. I spoke just after President Mbeki in what would be one of my most difficult speeches.

In Eastern Europe and Central Asia the number of people with HIV almost doubled between 2000 and 2011, with an estimated one million cases in Russia, and two hundred thirty thousand in Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine account for almost 90 percent of reported new infections, with a 50 percent increase in new infections in Russia between 2006 and 2011, from forty thousand to sixty thousand. Little or nothing is done to stem new infections in drug users, who form the main affected population. National prevention programs, in particular needle exchange and substitution therapy, are highly defective for political and ideological reasons.

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