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Archive for the ‘famine, third world, world heald, AIDS, India’ Category

HIV and India: Intelligence + Ignorance = Unfair Treatment

In famine, third world, world heald, AIDS, India, Gates Foundation, world health on May 14, 2007 at 12:20 pm

Addendum:  Could India learn something from Brazil?  You make the call. Banning sex education on the grounds that it offends Indian sensibilities puts young lives at risk and jeopardizes the fight against  a senior health official said. Six states in India, which has the most people living with HIV/AIDS in the world, have banned sex education for adolescents or refused to implement the curriculum, saying the course material was too explicit or that it was against Indian culture.  For full article, click here.

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On April 1, 2007, India will launch a new phase of its National AIDS Control Program (NACP). Its goals include reducing the number of new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections — currently, an estimated 98.5 to 99.5% of India’s 1.1 billion people remain uninfected — improving treatment, and providing therapy to more people. The 5-year program, known as NACP-III, has a budget of about $2.6 billion, two thirds of which is earmarked for prevention and one sixth for treatment (with the remainder primarily for management), and represents a substantial increase in the attention to and spending on HIV–AIDS.

How does this relate to you?

Each year, about 28 million children are born in India. Skilled health care personnel attend less than half of all births; infant mortality is about 55 per 1000 live births. In 2004, only an estimated 4% of all pregnant women received HIV counseling and testing, and only about 2% of HIV-positive pregnant women received antiretroviral prophylaxis, usually consisting of a single peripartum dose of nevirapine. Moreover, HIV-positive pregnant women may benefit from antepartum combination antiretroviral treatment for their own health. Under NACP-III, more pregnant women should receive monitoring of their CD4 cell counts, antiretroviral treatment, regimens designed to prevent HIV transmission (including combinations of antiretroviral drugs), and other services.

In India, as in much of the world, stigma and discrimination present major barriers to controlling AIDS. In 2005, the HIV–AIDS unit of the Mumbai-based Lawyers Collective, which provides free legal aid, drafted comprehensive antidiscrimination legislation.  This means unfair treatment, and this is especially so for women as you see in the video.

In scaling up treatment, India’s domestic pharmaceutical industry has a critical role. A paradox is that Indian companies have become major suppliers of low-cost generic antiretroviral medications to low- and middle-income countries in Africa and elsewhere at a time when there are still major unmet needs for HIV treatment in India. Cipla, a company based in Mumbai, manufactures the largest range of HIV drugs and has the largest market share. Cipla exports 18 times as much antiretroviral medication as it sells domestically, according to Amar Lulla, its joint managing director. Retail drug prices are higher in India than in Africa, in part because of taxes. Eventually, enhanced patent protection for pharmaceuticals in India, which took effect in January 2005, may lead to higher prices.  Do you know of local, regional or global organizations helping to address this problem?  Please share with the community?  What is your solution?

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Is AIDS The Global Health Problem of the Century?

In famine, third world, world heald, AIDS, India, Gates Foundation on December 3, 2006 at 12:35 pm

AIDS is one of the most hideous diseases on the planet. As many of you know, World AIDS Day was this past Friday, and I got to thinking that there in lies a big part of the problem. AIDS has become a footnote, an asterisks or perhaps, a day where you could probably get the day off if it was worth pushing at your socially correct company or if you work for a small start-up.

So, let me ask for those of you who will read my blog: how many of you, actively discuss AIDS and its impact on your local communities or even globally? Let’s see a show of hands. Pause for 10 seconds of silence.

That was a long 10 seconds wasn’t it? In the photograph on the left, you see a healthy and happy family. But what if the man is experiencing sex with a few of his poker buddies from time to time? Or, what if he was at a conference in Hong Kong and he needs to “unplug” and the concierge sends up to him a beautiful young 22 year old who just contracted AIDS, which she doesn’t even know yet; of course being the responsible family man, this gentleman is, he uses a condom for his extramarital tryst and it breaks. Oh my Goodnes! Of course, he’s got a smile of enjoyment as big as the Serengeti National Park.

After texting his buddies about his conquest, he comes home to his lovely wife and because he misses her so much and she’s now horny from his absence he now infects her with HIV. Oh, don’t forget that she is two months pregnant with twins and one of the twins contracts HIV, and the other one does not.

The interesting aspect to all of this, is that all of this mess is discovered AFTER the damage was done. So, is AIDS really the problem or is it people’s behavior that is to blame? If you have the flu, you stay home and don’t infect others at work. If your child has chicken pox, one of the parents stays home to protect other innocent little bodies from this childhood malady.
In other words, we should start talking, and doing something about AIDS every day. Here are some ideas:

1. Discuss it (HIV/AIDS) every day with someone you love?

2. Talk about AIDS the next time you go out with a group of friends from both genders?

3. Show pictures of the disease to your teenage children.

4. Download video clips from socially responsible websites that discuss children in Africa who are left without parents and play them on your television. Try http://www.current.tv/ if you need some help finding content about this subject on video. Try http://www.spangy.com/ after January 5, 2007.

5. Go to http://www.youthaids.org/ and make a donation once a month for $50.00 Euro, which is the best currency in terms of value or $50 USD if you don’t have access to the Euro.

6. Convince 5 friends to do #5.

7. Bookmark the following websites and/or subscribe to their RSS feeds: http://www.cdc.gov/ and http://www.globalhealth.org/

8. Repeat step #2 every time you go out. Now, armed with new facts from your knowledge from the CDC or from spangy.com you will sound authoritative and “cool” because you are aware, which makes you very attractive and desirable to other knowledgeable people.

9. Visit an AIDS hospice once a month to just “hang out” and keep folks company. People enjoy and are extremely grateful to connect with others when they know death is imminent.

10. Create your own list of the top 10 ways to combat AIDS and post to your blog or website and ask yourself, if you’ve done enough.