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HIV/AIDS

Doctor in Kigali talks with patient

 

PHR reports on HIV/AIDS examined problems related to HIV prevention and treatment that include barriers to testing, migration and trafficking of women, brain drain of health professionals, and discrimination in health care settings.

In Epidemic of Inequality: Women's Rights andHIV/AIDS in Botswana & Swaziland, PHR examined gender-specific barriers to HIV prevention, testing, and treatment. PHR concludes that HIV/AIDS testing must assure true informed consent and human rights safeguards, and offer protection from HIV-related discrimination and partner violence related to testing.

Our report No Status: Migration, Trafficking & Exploitation of Women in Thailand found that HIV prevention was hindered by corruption within the Thai government. The study showed how the lack of legal status of women engenders discrimination, exploitation, vulnerability to violence, and inability to access health care and other services. Subject to trafficking, sexual violence, and abuse, women and girls are frequently denied fundamental human rights and left vulnerable to HIV infection.

An Action Plan to Prevent Brain Drain: Building Equitable Health Systems in Africa details how the severe shortage of health care workers in Africa creates a huge barrier to preventing and treating AIDS. The report shows that economic justice is integral to fighting AIDS and proposes ways to staunch the hemorrhage of Africa's health professional seeking better paying jobs abroad.

In Nigeria, a PHR study found that many Nigerian health professionals work in facilities without sufficient medications, equipment, or materials needed to practice safe health care, and without adequate training on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. As a result, people living with AIDS have experienced discrimination in the health sector.

In 2008, PHR helped increase to $48 billion the amount allocated to the reauthorizations of PEPFAR AIDS legislation (the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). PEPFAR is the world's largest anti-AIDS program, which also now addresses malaria, tuberculosis, and nutrition, has so far treated over 1.5 million people with AIDS. Africa's catastrophic health worker shortage, which received little mention in the original legislation, became a central element of the reauthorized bill passed by the Senate. PEPFAR reauthorization supported countries in developing long-term health workforce plans by providing funding for 140,000 new health workers. Many African countries currently employ far fewer health workers than that ratio would provide, crippling efforts to combat AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.