Developing Countries Should Focus on HIV/AIDS Prevention, Treatment, Editorial Says
Although it is "tempting" for developing countries to avoid the "controversial" aspects of HIV/AIDS prevention and focus only on treating HIV-positive people, such an approach would give countries a "false sense of security" and would "do nothing to stop the spread" of HIV/AIDS, a New Orleans Times Picayune editorial says (New Orleans Times-Picayune, 6/18). The Global HIV Prevention Working Group earlier this month released a report examining global HIV prevention in the face of increasing treatment access. The working group, which was convened in 2002 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Kaiser Family Foundation, is comprised of nearly 50 experts in public health; clinical care; biomedical, behavioral and social research; and people affected by HIV/AIDS (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/14). The panel's "concern is well-founded," considering the "complacency" toward HIV prevention that arose in developed countries following increased access to antiretroviral drugs, the editorial says. Focusing only on treatment would be "deadly for the developing world" and could result in an increase in high-risk behavior that could "make matters worse," the editorial says, concluding that a combined approach to treatment and prevention can stop the spread of the disease (New Orleans Times-Picayune, 6/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.