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Public Health Experts Argue for Integrated Services to Avert 7 Million HIV Infections by 2010
Date:2/25/2008

BALTIMORE, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Public health professionals argue changes are needed in health systems to scale up HIV prevention with a goal of averting 7 million HIV infections by 2010.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080225/NYFNSP04 )

Major strides are needed to reach this goal envisioned by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs helps professionals with integrated HIV prevention information at http://www.hivandsrh.org. The Center uses communication to improve health.

"It's critical to reaching goals that we integrate services," says Dr. Carol Underwood, Senior Research Officer, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs.

The overall PEPFAR program before Congress totals $30 billion. It comes at a time when public health experts realize that combining health services yields gains over providing HIV services alone.

For example, one scientific model in 2006 estimated 1.6 million infants would be born with HIV without any contraceptive use, but only 530,000 with current contraceptive use.

Experts anticipate more impressive results scaling up male circumcision services to help prevent HIV. Circumcision reduces risk over 40% per man, according to studies.

A growing body of health care professionals use information technology to share health system strategies in a quest to scale up HIV prevention services. On-line collaboration tools, electronic learning, and database tools stand to play a major role in innovation in the next step in HIV prevention. The HIV/AIDS and Sexual and Reproductive Health Integration website (http://www.hivandsrh.org) provides these types of tools.


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SOURCE Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for
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