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Public health: The global fight against AIDS

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Prevention strategies for HIV/AIDS.
    1. Implementing successful condom education programs.
  3. Comparing the HIV/AIDS problem in Uganda to Botswana.
  4. The price of antiretroviral therapy in the US and the UN.
  5. Conclusion: The most stunning aspect of MDG 6.

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) (Accessed 11/18/2008) AVERT, ?HIV/AIDS in Botswana?, (AVERT, 2008) (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) (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 fight against AIDS needs to move its focus forward to finding a vaccine because a vaccine is the only final solution to the existing prevention inequalities. A vaccine would be a straightforward intervention that the UN could provide to all those in need with great potential to overcome economic and social barriers. Even now techniques for adequate prevention exist; it is just a matter of developing effective intervention programs to implement these techniques. Similarly, treatment for AIDS has improved immensely since the epidemic began, but providing the best available treatment to the developing world has been labeled cost-ineffective and only inches forward as 10 million people are still without care. [...]

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