Great strides made in universal access to HIV/AIDS treatments.With 3 million people living with HIV/AIDS HIV/AIDS Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome in developing countries now receiving antiretroviral antiretroviral /an·ti·ret·ro·vi·ral/ (-ret´ro-vi?ral) effective against retroviruses, or an agent with this quality.
adj. therapy, a new universal goal has been devised to provide treatment to every person who needs it, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. a new report.
In May, the World Health Organization, Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS and UNICEF UNICEF (y`nĭsĕf'), the United Nations Children's Fund, an affiliated agency of the United Nations. released the progress report, "Towards Universal Access: Scaling Up Priority HIV/AIDS Interventions in the Health Sector." The report found that by the end of 2007, only 31 percent of people in need of antiretroviral therapy were receiving it. However, according to the report, considerable progress has been made in the effort to prevent mother-to-child HIV HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), either of two closely related retroviruses that invade T-helper lymphocytes and are responsible for AIDS. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is responsible for the vast majority of AIDS in the United States. transmission, with 18 percent of pregnant women globally being tested for HIV/AIDS, up from 10 percent in 2005.
"The success displayed in this report should not be undermined," said Terri Creagh, PhD, director of research at the Well Project, a nonprofit organization Nonprofit Organization
An association that is given tax-free status. Donations to a non-profit organization are often tax deductible as well.
Examples of non-profit organizations are charities, hospitals and schools. that has a mission to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic pandemic /pan·dem·ic/ (pan-dem´ik)
1. a widespread epidemic of a disease.
2. widely epidemic.
Epidemic over a wide geographic area.
n. through a focus on women. "(HIV/AIDS) is still a significant problem."
Although universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment for all affected people can seem an almost impossible mission, most countries are ready to commit to the objective, said Creagh. Still, she said, sometimes a strong desire is not enough.
"Having policies does not mean that things will get done," said Creagh, noting that many developing countries do not have adequate health care infrastructures to distribute drugs to communities struggling with HIV/AIDS.
Moreover, the drugs that do get to hard-to-reach rural populations in places such as Africa will do little if patients are not monitored. According to the progress report, in 2007 nearly 33 percent of pregnant women living with HIV received anti-retrovirals, up from 10 percent in 2004, with the most significant increase in sub-Saharan Africa. Such treatment prevents the woman from transmitting HIV to the fetus fetus, term used to describe the unborn offspring in the uterus of vertebrate animals after the embryonic stage (see embryo). In humans, the fetal stage begins seven to eight weeks after fertilization of the egg, when the embryo assumes the basic shape of the newborn . But after many pregnant women give birth, anti-retrovirals may not be continually administered to them. In fact, the report found that only 12 percent of HIV-positive pregnant women globally who received antenatal an·te·na·tal
before parturition. Called also prenatal, antepartal. care were evaluated to determine if they were qualified to receive anti-retrovirals after their children were born. If such women do not continue to receive regular treatments, the children who were originally protected by anti-retrovirals risk losing their mothers and becoming orphans.
If all HIV-positive pregnant women worldwide received treatment, HIV/ AIDS could be prevented in nearly 100 percent of children, as almost all children that live with HIV/AIDS were infected by their mothers, Creagh told The Nation's Health.
"Women are the key to changing the epidemic," Creagh said.
Women can play a major role in preventing new HIV/AIDS cases, as they make up more than half of the total HIV/AIDS population receiving antiretroviral therapy, according to the report. But, men also need to be the focus of preventive education and outreach, Creagh said.
Unfortunately, treating men can be more difficult, she said, because of a culture of denial and subsequently low testing rates. Even though using a condom 1. condom - The protective plastic bag that accompanies 3.5-inch microfloppy diskettes. Rarely, also used of (paper) disk envelopes. Unlike the write protect tab, the condom (when left on) not only impedes the practice of SEX but has also been shown to have a high failure is one of the most effective ways to prevent HIV transmission, many men refuse to adopt the preventive measure due to a "macho" attitude, she said.
"It is hard to change a cultural paradigm," Creagh noted.
Precautionary pre·cau·tion·ar·y also pre·cau·tion·al
Of, relating to, or constituting a precaution: taking precautionary measures; gave precautionary advice.
Adj. 1. measures are the best--and cheapest--methods to prevent HIV/AIDS, according to Creagh. However, the current treatment--antiretroviral therapy--is effective only for those that are able to obtain it in time and are routinely monitored.
But if someone does not know if she or he is infected, the impact of expanding treatment access is stunted. There are millions of people who are unaware of their HIV status: In 17 countries studied, 11 of which were located in sub-Saharan Africa, only about 10 percent of men and women each had been tested for HIV/AIDS, the report stated.
The report's authors noted that despite treatment progress, "weak health care systems, a critical shortage of human resources The fancy word for "people." The human resources department within an organization, years ago known as the "personnel department," manages the administrative aspects of the employees. and a lack of sustainable, long-term funding" will prove to be obstacles in achieving absolute universal access.
For more information or a copy of the HIV/AIDS progress report, visit www.who.int.