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AIDS. 1997;11 Suppl B:S143-9.

Government responses to HIV/AIDS in Africa: what have we learnt?

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Southern African HIV/AIDS International Training and Research Programme, c/o Medical Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa.


While we should not lose sight of the development of vaccines and cures, more immediate priorities include the implementation of effective STD control. The syndromic management approach developed in Zimbabwe to overcome laboratory constraints is a cost-effective way of managing STD. Of urgency is the integration of STD services into primary health-care services, appropriate training of staff, adequate provision and control over drugs and condoms, and incorporation of traditional healers and community-based education on STD. A second area of priority is the strengthening of the interaction between prevention, care and support activities, which act in synergy. Effective prevention and care require easy access to testing facilities with pre- and post-test counselling, appropriate structures and services to provide affordable and sustained care and support to those found to be infected with HIV, provision of drugs for the treatment of opportunistic infections, and the creation of a social environment and a legislation which protect against any form of discrimination the rights of people living with HIV, their sexual partners and their families.

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