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The treatment of AIDS must be a worldwide effort

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7272.1357 (Published 25 November 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1357
  1. Hans Veeken, health advisor
  1. Amsterdam

    HIV is the cause of AIDS, and the main route of transmission remains unprotected sex. But it is the stigma of HIV that is killing people. As long as people are ostracised for being HIV positive, and as long as sex is not discussed openly, prevention will have little effect. At the AIDS 2000 world conference in Durban this summer, I heard about a woman in a township about 30 miles from Johannesburg who was stoned to death after she made public that she was HIV positive.

    The whole issue is shamefully unfair and ethically unacceptable

    Leadership and political will, as well as money, are prerequisites for addressing HIV. Thailand and Uganda are examples of how prevention can be effective, if it is addressed nationwide. In both countries the prevalence of HIV is being reduced—firstly, by making HIV a national priority, and, secondly, by applying the right strategy. With low prevalence it makes sense to address the core transmitters, such as prostitutes and their clients. It takes …

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