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New 'From-the-Ground' Report Reformulates Simplistic Argument About HIV/ AIDS and Health Care Systems in a Fundamental Way
Date:7/29/2008

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Matilda Moyo, a co-author of the report's Zimbabwe chapter said, "What we found was that HIV/AIDS services, particularly provision of antiretrivirals, have become a lifeline for the health care system in Zimbabwe. In the midst of the economic and political crises, a consistent focus on HIV health services has been an oasis in a whole desert of the collapsing health delivery system."

Problems in Zimbabwe include extreme shortages of healthcare workers, with one doctor often responsible for providing services for 8,000 patients, frequent drug stock outs and a crumbling healthcare infrastructure. "Some donors such as the Global Fund have come together to provide much needed financial resources for Zimbabwe," added Moyo. "For example, efforts have been made to invest in infrastructure through HIV programs which has boosted the general health delivery system."

Alessandra Nilo, a co-author of the report's Brazil chapter, said, "In Brazil, HIV/AIDS services have been scaled-up in conjunction with the expansion of general public health. The scale up of AIDS services has also had positive impacts on human rights, education and sexuality in Brazil."

Brazil has been cited as a great success story for developing strong HIV treatment and prevention programs as well as general public health programs. Nilo added, "Despite the success of integrating HIV and general health systems, we still identified clear and distinct benefits for maintaining dedicated HIV-related services."

"The AIDS response in Zimbabwe, Brazil and other countries shows that new investments in health can have dramatic impact. But a simple reshuffling of health resources toward more generalized health functions at the expense of effective disease-specific programs, such as HIV/AIDS, would jeopardize the remarkable advances that have been made and leave the more than six million people who urgently need AIDS treatment without this care," said Chris Collins, a co-coordinator o
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SOURCE International Treatment Preparedness Coalition
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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