At the millennium, over 150 world leaders met at the Millennium Summit to establish a vision for the United Nations in the upcoming years. They discussed the problems of poverty, economic development, public health, and education on a global level and proposed interventions in the form of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): eight goals for improving the aforementioned issues in the first twenty years of the new millennium. Millennium Development Goal 6, which seeks to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, has seen less progress than the UN would have hoped. Three targets make up this goal, a necessary division because combating AIDS has little to do with the fight against malaria. The first two targets of MDG 6 are to Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it.
[...] There are still 9.7 million people in developing countries with no access to treatment.[iii] The number of AIDS infected people not included in these statistics are unknown, but the numbers are staggering enough despite likely underreporting. Statistics like these call into question the interventions designed by the UN and the success of their implementation. Prevention strategies for HIV/AIDS depend on the success of education programs, and it is no surprise that inequalities in prevention manifest themselves in the education programs. [...]
[...] [viii] AVERT, “HIV/AIDS in Uganda”, (AVERT, 2008) http://www.avert.org/aidsuganda.htm (Accessed 11/18/2008) AVERT, “HIV/AIDS in Botswana”, (AVERT, 2008) http://www.avert.org/aidsbotswana.htm (Accessed 11/18/2008) Helen Epstein, The Invisible Cure: Africa, The West, and The Fight Against AIDS (New York, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2007) pg The AIDS Support Organisation, “About (The AIDS Support Organisation, 2003) http://www.tasouganda.org/about.php (Accessed 11/18/2008) Paul Farmer, Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Right, and the New War on the Poor (Berkley: University of California Press, 2005) [xii] Farmer [xiii] UN Department of Public Information, United Nations, Goal Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, (New York: United Nations, 2008). [...]
[...] The foundation of this local movement is The AIDS Support Organisation(TASO). What started out as sixteen Ugandans meeting at each other's homes to provide mutual support is now the largest indigenous non-governmental organization fighting AIDS. Their programs, all of which are done on a personal level, include counseling, medical care, social support, advocacy, and a youth club.[x] Meanwhile, the government in Botswana uses a diluted, top-down approach with all the right intentions but few of the desired results. Although Botswana attempted to challenge its prevention inequalities, by failing to “stir the nation's conscience” the government left the root of the inequalities in place, which severely hindered their intervention. [...]
[...] This local/regional aspect is vital in motivating the indigenous population to challenge the stigma and denial that worsens the AIDS epidemic. When comparing the HIV/AIDS problem in Uganda to Botswana, the necessity of motivated locals is evident. Botswana, a far richer country than Uganda, has the second highest HIV rate in the world ( 23.9 while Uganda has one of the lowest rates in Central Africa ( 5.4 %).[viii] Both countries have extensive programs for HIV testing, public education and awareness, condom education and distribution, and targeting of high-risk populations. [...]
[...] There has been some progress towards MDG 6 including the establishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, which was a result of, among other things, the Consensus Statement on Antiretroviral Treatment for AIDS in Poor Countries. This statement, signed by over 100 Harvard faculty members including Jeffrey Sachs and Paul Farmer, sought to challenge the inequalities of treatment in poor countries. Farmer, Sachs, and colleagues sought to establish a global standard of care as opposed to a local standard of care for AIDS. [...]
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