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ABNF J. 2000 Jul-Aug;11(4):83-7.

Community health, media, and policy in sub-Saharan Africa: a primary prevention approach to the AIDS crisis.

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  • 1Bouve College of Health Sciences, School of Nursing, Northeastern University, USA.


Availability, access and utilization of essential health services present challenges to community health services in Sub-Saharan Africa. HIV/AIDS infection has added yet another dimension to a continent already experiencing economic crises. A primary prevention approach is emphasized as a means of addressing sexual behaviors that decrease risk of transmission. Educating the sexually active to use condom and also HIV/AIDS testing and counseling can be effective in curbing transmission of the virus. Community forums such as the local schools and churches, together with the political leadership need to coordinate primary prevention efforts against HIV/AIDS transmission. The media can be powerful in raising awareness, community activism, and mobilization of the masses at grass-roots level by advocating behaviors that promote health. African leaders must indicate a strong political will by shaping policies that address HIV/AIDS. These leaders need resources (both internally and externally) to fund primary prevention programs that are community-based and outcome-oriented.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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