SEA/RC61/12 - Public health approach to combating HIV/AIDS
AbstractThe HIV epidemic continues to take its toll in the South-East Asia (SEA) Region. Countries have, however, demonstrated that implementing an effective response is feasible, both to halt and reverse epidemics and to provide services to those in need. To date, efforts to scale up HIV/AIDS programmes have involved a variety of different service delivery models, guidelines and tools for multiple HIV/AIDS interventions. Countries seeking to scale up HIV/AIDS health services to achieve universal access will benefit by adopting a service delivery model that brings together the best of these approaches and helps to compensate for the significant health systems challenges that many of them face. The paper discusses a public health approach to combating HIV/AIDS. The approach consists of four steps: • Define the problem and the risk factors; • Find out what works to control the disease; • Scale up effective interventions in a wide range of settings; and • Monitor/evaluate the impact and cost-effectiveness of these interventions. This paper was submitted to the Meeting of the Advisory Committee (ACM) held in the Regional Office, New Delhi from 30 June 2008 to 3 July 2008. The ACM made the following recommendations: Action by Member States (1) Under the overall multisectoral approach to combating HIV/AIDS, the public health approach and role of health sector should be further strengthened in all Member States by: • Reviewing and updating strategic information, including HIV/STI surveillance and research; • Scaling up appropriate HIV prevention` in relevant population groups to have the desired impact on the epidemic and to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by strengthening health systems using the available resources; • Expanding antiretroviral treatment, giving priorities to prevention of mother-to-child transmission and TB/HIV interventions; and • Conducting programme reviews to measure progress, identify challenges and use the opportunity for advocacy at country levels; and (2) Strengthen cross-border collaboration and develop effective coordinating mechanisms to combat HIV/AIDS. Action by WHO/SEARO (1) To facilitate and support cross-border coordination and collaboration to discuss innovative mechanisms for control of HIV/AIDS, TB and vector-borne diseases; and (2) Continue the support that is required by Member States in the health sector response to HIV/AIDS. The Sixty-first Session of the Regional Committee is invited to consider the public health approach to combating HIV/AIDS and provide guidance on strategies for its implementation.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2008). SEA/RC61/12 - Public health approach to combating HIV/AIDS. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/128709