Management of HIV/AIDS
Trying to find a vacine – the hope of this seems remote, but research is continuing, particularly in trying to find groups that might posses some degree of natural immunity through thier white cells.
Prolonging life through drugs – such drugs are avilable but expensive: a typical course of AZT cost US$10,000 a year per individual in 2000, but costs are now much lower at $300 for generic drugs such Nevirapine.
Plotting the course – during an outbreak – making it possible to predict the future spread of the disease and identifying areas where resources should be conentrated
Screening blood – for HIV antibodies before it is used for transfusions in developed countries, leading to a negligible risk of infection. This was not always the case. Blood plasma products, such as factor 8 (for haemophilicas), are now treated to remove the virus
Education and advertising – education is seen as the main way in which HIV/AIDS infection can be combated in sub-Saharan Africa. However, this assumes that humans are rational and their behaviour is under individual control. Often, due to social norms, and predjuces, they are not. Education is aimed at increasing the use of condoms, but, in Africa in particular, they are not popular. In developed countries, education and advertising have been aimed at vulnerable groups such as homosexuals and intravenous drug users to try and prevent the spread of the disease. aising the profile of the disease in schools through sex education has benn a major feature in the UK government programme. ohter campaigns in the UK have included free needles for drug users, free condoms and warnings to travellers about their sexual behaviour in forein countries.
Caring for victims and families – this involves charities such as the Terrence Higgins Trust and London Lighthouse in the UK.
It is now believed that the spread of HIV/AIDS is rooted in problems of poverty, food and livelihood insecurity, sociocultural inequality and poor transport services and infrastructre. Although responses to HIV/AIDS have grown and improved over the past decade, they still do not match the scale or pace of a steadily worsening epidemic. indeed,in a report published in , UNAIDS said that ‘the AIDS epidemic continues to outstrip global efforts to contain it.