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HIV-AIDS is a cash cow for some and a reminder to eradicate it for others
In the history of human nature, epidemics have met with interventions informed by empathy, sympathy, ridicule, public health, responsibility and a goal to never give the kind of annihilating epidemics a chance to decimate society. Mother nature does bring in newer surprises at every turn of century or so often. There are 'epidemi-stories' in the Holy Books, traditional lore and various documents. The Tsetse epidemics that ravaged Africa, diarrhea in Asian countries and Black death epidemics of Europe up to late 1900s were so devastating. Polio, H1N1, Ebola, Marburg, West Nile, Small Pox, Measles, Malaria, Hepatitis, TB and HIV are still with us. HIV is the main thrust of this paper.
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HIV Diagnosis is still a death sentence or is it?
There are places where a diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus, is still considered a death sentence for many patients thanks to stigma and lack of awareness. There are places where treatment against the disease is not accessible. There are places where the medicines called ARV's are present but not accessed by those who need them. All efforts should be towards conscientization, mobilization of masses to end stigma and discrimination. Efforts should be to encourage adherence to what works and follow it up with support structures ranging from funds to appropriate non-money supplies. A corps of community care providers should be a celebrated team of people and almost many should have enrolled as members.
Is there enough money to end HIV?
Is there enough money to end HIV?
30 years or so later, HIV and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS, that the virus brings on is still a moving target. Governments should be committed. NGO's should mobilize societies to take up responsible life preserving roles. International focus days should be adhered to. Interventions like safe medical male circumcision should be made accessible. Correct condom use should be popularized. Care for persons living with HIV should be a role one gets into with respectable regard. Nutrition and hygiene of those who are living with HIV should be ensured. A mother with HIV should have all opportunities to care. The child should have all the opportunities not to acquire HIV. Adolescents who have transitioned from young children age groups should have all the opportunities to transition as Adolescents free of HIV. If so those living with HIV should have access to care. HIV/TB/Hepatitis co-morbidity should be addressed earlier enough. There is no excuse for delays. Infected blood transmission in all its forms should be addressed. The poverty, rights and environment ecosystems' angle of HIV should be explored and interventions supported whole heartedly. Those organizations whose members are assured of attending international conferences should have commitment to results that point towards eradicating stumbling blocks. Talk, experience sharing and documentation should have targets pointing towards end to HIV.
How is commitment Mobilized?
Organization and infrastructure is around the following forms: political commitment; accountability; visibility; dissemination of information; encouraging access to testing and treatment; management of opportunistic infections; empowering communities to own skills and life preserving practices; eradicating stigma and discrimination; mainstreaming poverty eradication, environment conservation, income generating activities, rights, sexuality, orientation and gender.
The Supporting Infrastructure
The financial, denominational, scientific, biological, ideological and socio-political interventions committed to HIV are immense. It has made the world come together solidly and through the created mechanisms and coordinating bodies certain goals and indicators have been agreed upon. This has created a harmonized approach and set standards. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been such goals and standards from which to start, stop, restart or compare progress trends.
Those who work and those who get in the way (Impact Vs Accolade Interventions)
Three paradigms have arisen. With the flood gates of ready anti HIV-tagged money, there are those so savvy and have the political clout to channel this money to their coffers. There are those who are qualified and are doing impacting interventions. There is a third tier made up of those who are qualified, want to do felt anti HIV work and demand results.
Among the savvy are those who can manipulate accountability for money they may have used to do an inane intervention. They follow it up with media dissemination and many times end up getting more funding. They get so much money and do not know what to do with it. They instead have built ersatz structures that on paper are very enticing but on the ground are the very stumbling blocks through which HIV slips. Many will call to mind a few governments and organizations doing this scattered in given continents.
There are those who are qualified and are doing impacting work. They have laid down interventions, have involved people and maintained a consistent approach: Population based interventions; rights based interventions; social-bio-medical interventions; have pushed for trials on large and motivated population groups; they have built a concerted bulwark against stigma/discrimination; have involved a broad calling of practitioners; have maintained that across the board representation even at International AIDS conferences-not just friends or likely bedfellows; they have asked for regular accountability that is tagged to funds and strategic plans; they have not entertained nonsense from grass root organizations misappropriating funds.
The third tier is made up of those who are qualified, want to do felt anti HIV work, are not corruptible and demand results. This category is qualified but because it demands results is mostly avoided and their efforts are dismissed.
HIV must not win. This is possible when the qualified are the storm troopers and have the logistical support in place. The unqualified are the stumbling blocks. They cannot get the critical numbers and targeted results in place and on time. Let us work not to abuse but use the Global effort and funds (http://www.smartglobalhealth.org/blog/entry/video-video-the-global-fund-and-the-u.s/).