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African nations should move towards implementation of interventions that have already been proved to work while awaiting a vaccine or cure for HIV and Aids, a senior HIV and Aids aocate has said.

Speaking at the global aocacy for HIV prevention annual meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa last week, AVAC executive director Mr Mitchell Warren said nations should consider focusing on interventions with short-term results as a path to long-term goals.

He said examples of such interventions include the use of anti-retroviral drugs, which have already been proved to work in reducing HIV transmission from a positive partner to a negative partner.

“AIDS vaccine, passive immunisation and cure researches are years from yielding licensed approaches, but short-term and mid-term milestones are a must,” said Mr Warren.

He said countries should also take into consideration issues of human rights and community realities for programmes to succeed.

“If science does not get synched up with human rights then there is little hope of bringing the epidemic to a conclusive end,” he said.

Mr Warren applauded the use of goals and targets in global HIV response, but said they should be backed with resources, political support and collective priority, among other things, for them to work.

He said while most of the targets put in place were never reached, they aided in scaling up access to treatment and prevention services for HIV.

Citing the example of the 2003 global target which was aimed at putting at least three million people living with HIV on treatment by the year 2005, Mr Warren said although the target was never met, subsequently HIV and Aids services increased.

He said owing to the target, global spending on HIV increased by 60 percent between 2003 and 2005.

Together with other targets that were introduced thereafter, the number of people on treatment worldwide increased to 13 million in 2014.

Source : The Herald

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