Intended for healthcare professionals


Combating HIV/AIDS in developing countries

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 15 July 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:121
  1. Jennifer Prah Ruger (, research assistant professor
  1. Washington University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of General Medical Sciences, 660 South Euclid Avenue, Campus Box 8005, St Louis, MO 63110 USA

    Requires empowering people to act on their own terms

    In July 2004 the international community will convene in Bangkok, Thailand, for the 15th international AIDS conference. The gathering occurs at an opportune time in global health as just months earlier, the World Health Organization and UNAIDS launched the “3 by 5” programme—a global initiative to provide antiretroviral therapy to 3 million with HIV/AIDS in developing countries by the end of 2005.1 Additionally in the past few years the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria was created, to finance a scaling up of resources for interventions against all three diseases ( These initiatives are augmented by increases in funding from private, national, and international sources. Together these efforts represent one of the most important trends in global health over the past five years. The movement for increased funding for HIV/AIDS in developing countries has brought attention to the issue and initiated a process of responding to it.

    Focusing on prevention of HIV and on expanding access to antiretroviral treatment for people living with AIDS is critically important to the fight against HIV/AIDS, but alone this strategy is not enough to tackle the problem. Combating HIV/AIDS in low and middle income countries requires more than prevention and treatment—important as this two pronged strategy …

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