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Tag Archives: Society

Health Activism – The case of HIV in the 21st century

This rich picture was created as a heuristic device for a seminar given to 2nd year medical students. The purpose was to sensitise future medical practitioners  to health issues seen from the perspective of the public and more specifically from those engaged in health activism.

The seminar focussed on the case of HIV activists though Health Activism is much broader. Finding a definition of health activism was not easy but I eventually found this very good one:

 

  • Health Activists are leaders who work daily to improve the way people talk and think about health.
  • Health Activists are passionate about raising awareness for health causes, dedicated to finding the best information about health conditions, and relentless in their commitment to help others.
  • They are also adept at using every tool possible to reach their communities, especially through social media.

 

 

 

Treatment for HIV Prevention – a Continuum of Care

Key stages of the Universal Test and Treat approach and linkage to care for HIV prevention.

HIV-negative individuals remain in the system and receive further counselling whilst HIV-positive are linked to care where they receive continuous attention and support to achieve viral suppression. Top: weaknesses and threats faced by the approach. Bottom: strengths and opportunities to address the challenges of delivering ART in a variety of contexts building on existing resources and “know-how” and developing new approaches to solve systemic problems.

Download as a PDF: TasP Continuum of Care 1

 

Treatment for Prevention stands at the epicentre of a number of services. It can only succeed by being part of a whole.

Download as a PDF: TasP Continuum of Care 2

 

 

Clinical Research and Communities – Conflicting Needs?

The conduct of clinical research often conflicts with community life even if it is done for the benefit of the public. This can be explained by differences in perception, understanding and respective knowledge of each other’s interests and needs. This slide was designed to support discussions around the issues raised by the need to conduct clinical research in communities which often struggle to undertsand the research and how they can impact on what is being done. It can also be used by communities who want to engage with researchers to facilitate the conduct of mutually beneficial clinical research.

Migrants and Sex Work

This picture illustrates some aspects of a holistic approach to appreciate the situation of some migrants who enter the sex industry. It starts with people in search of better life opportunities than that available in their country. Immigration to more developed countries with a more appealing life style (advertised through globalisation and new communication technologies) represents an attractive option.

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HIV Prevention: towards the medicalisation of sex?

2010 will be a year to remember for the field of HIV prevention. After decades of interventions with limited results (with the exception of circumcision and the prevention of mother to child HIV transmission), two clinical studies are raising the hope that the HIV epidemic can be tamed.

In July, the CAPRISA team (based in South Africa) reported that a vaginal gel containing the anti HIV drug tenofovir could reduce the risk of HIV infection by 39%. This was the first proof of concept that a microbicide could potentially reduce the risk of HIV infection whilst offering women an HIV prevention tool that they could control.

In November of the same year, the iPrEx study conducted on a population at high-risk of infection showed that taking the anti HIV Drug Truvada reduced the risk of contracting the virus by an average of 44 percent.

Both studies are hailed as a milestone and landmark in the history of HIV prevention and expectations are high that HIV prevention will finally mean more than the ABC of ‘Abstinence, condom and faithfulness’. But despite the hope, neither approach will immediately translate into marketable products as there are a number of questions that needs answering before microbicide and PrEP are available to the public. Read more »

A Sustainable Globalisation?

washington vs Geneva ConsensusGlobalisation has been the buzzword of the roaring nineties and with the fall of the Berlin’s wall, the end of the cold war and the victory of capitalism over socialism it has opened a new era in human history. Rightly or not, globalisation has become synonymous with market economy, capitalism and development. Much discussions, books and movies have placed it at the centre of the debate about the future of development with a “New Deal” or a “New Barbarism” as two possible scenarios. As the Washington Consensus is being challenged by the Geneva Consensus, the possibility of a sustainable globalisation, conducive to social justice, human security and environmental protection, being an unrealisable goal is a question of great contemporary interest. To address this question we will examine how globalisation affects social justice, human security and the environment. We will then introduce different views and responses to the globalisation process, which when integrated altogether will provide a framework to answer the question of realizing a sustainable globalisation. Read more »

Gendering the Fight against Aids

Two strong messages have emerged from the 16th International Aids Conference in Toronto, Canada. The first is that with drug treatment now being rolled out in developing countries, prevention should return to centre stage in future policies and strategies. The second is that women’s lives and status need to be improved and that women need to be given power to prevent HIV infection.

Both messages were embodied in Bill Gates’s keynote speech:

“We need to put the power to prevent HIV in the hands of women. This is true whether the woman is a faithful married mother of small children or a sex worker trying to scrape out a living in a slum. No matter where she lives or what she does, a woman should never need her partner’s permission to save her own life.” Read more »

French Fries and Fat Kids – Asia’s next Epidemic

Popular belief has it that obesity only affects wealthier societies where food is plentiful: the curse of the developed world epitomized by hulking Americans that struggle to order their king-size Big Mac, French Fries and Coke without breaking sweat.

Obesity is no longer exclusive to the developed world

The reality is a very different. Obesity and its associated diseases – diabetes, hypertension and kidney diseases – respect neither wealth nor class and strike instead into the heart of every society where there is easy access to convenience food, low physical activity and ubiquitous advertisements for sugar-fat-salt-rich food. Read more »