HIV is an uncommon type of virus called a retrovirus, and drugs developed to disrupt the action of HIV are known as antiretrovirals or ARVs. These come in a variety of formulations designed to act on different stages of the life-cycle of HIV.
The AIDS virus mutates rapidly, which makes it extremely skilful at developing resistance to drugs. To minimize this risk, people with HIV are generally treated with a combination of ARVs that attack the virus on several fronts at once.
The introduction of ARVs in 1996 transformed the treatment of HIV and AIDS, improving the quality and greatly prolonging the lives of many infected people in places where the drugs are available. Nevertheless, ARVs are not a cure. If treatment is discontinued the virus becomes active again, so a person on ARVs must take them for life.
Although the price of ARVs has fallen significantly in recent years, their cost remains an obstacle to access in the developing world. Moreover, the health infrastructure required to deliver antiretroviral therapy is lacking in many places.
Access to drugs depends not only on financial and human resources. It depends also on people who need them being aware of their HIV status, knowledgeable about treatment, and empowered to seek it.
Thus public information and education are important elements in widening access, alongside efforts to build or strengthen the health services. The campaign for universal access to life saving drugs for HIV and AIDS, started originally by grassroots AIDS activists, is today a major focus of attention of UN agencies and others influential organizations at national and global levels.
The Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, unanimously endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 2001, embraced equitable access to care and treatment as a fundamental component of a comprehensive and effective global HIV response. Since then many countries, through the support of intergovernmental organizations and donors, have definitively demonstrated the feasibility of delivering HIV treatment in even the most resource-limited settings. Access to treatment has helped mobilize communities in the response to HIV, preserved the health and viability of households vulnerable to HIV, and strengthened HIV prevention efforts in many parts of the world.
In the goal to reach universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, national leadership is required to establish policies that support the momentum of treatment scale-up through efforts to: increase the number of people who choose to know their HIV status; reduce HIV stigma; build human capacity to sustain treatment through training and better use of current human resources; improve supply management and integrate HIV care with other health services.
The latest from the GCWA
3 Apr, 2012|
Funding Announcement Deadline: 11:59pm US EST on May 1, 2012 First Prize: $25,000 & full support for one organizational representative to attend the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, USA Introduction AIDS United invites non-profit organizations, both within and outside of the United States (US), to apply for the Innovative Strategy Award for Access and Retention in HIV/AIDS Care.
1 Mar, 2012|
Women's Meaningful Participation in the scale-up of Vertical Transmission Programmes
6 Feb, 2012|
To access the document, click here/Чтобы получить доступ к документу нажмите здесь: Harm Reduction Brief (2012) Russian.pdf
5 Jan, 2012|
Abstract submission deadline 2 weeks away: International HIV Treatment as Prevention Workshop - abstract subsmission deadline
The abstract submission deadline for the 2nd International HIV Treatment as Prevention Workshop is three weeks away. Please see below for links to the abstract system and other relevant information. SPECIAL NOTICE: The International AIDS Society would like to advise workshop participants that presentations of research findings at this workshop will not preclude their consideration for presentation at the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC. If needed, please respond to this email for further clarification.
7 Dec, 2011|
West and Central Africa: a 12-year-old girl acquires HIV through a blood transfusion. Her parents isolate her inside the house, pushing food to her on a stick. A decade later she is denied admission to university on the basis of her HIV status. In this young woman’s words: “I won’t sleep until young women living with HIV are given a voice and a platform to speak.” Southern and East Africa: a girl child is raped and acquires HIV. In her teens she develops a fistula. Doctors tell her it’s normal for a young woman living with HIV.
30 Nov, 2011|
28 Nov, 2011|
The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (GCWA), the International Network of Women who Use Drugs (INWUD), and the Women’s Harm Reduction International Network (WHRIN) are pleased to present a new issue brief regarding women who use drugs on HIV, harm reduction and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
19 Sep, 2011|
GCWA-ALN Global Plan Virtual Consultation
19 Sep, 2011|
Vertical Transmission of HIV: Building women’s meaningful participation in the Global Plan for Elimination of HIV infection in Children and Keeping Mothers Alive
The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS is partnering with the AIDS Legal Network (ALN) to build women’s meaningful participation in the Global Plan for Elimination of HIV infection in Children and Keeping Mothers Alive. The virtual consultation will focus on the 22 priority countries identified in the Global Plan. As such, there will be particular emphasis placed on outreach within those countries, working in partnership with networks of women living with HIV and women’s rights and sexual and reproductive health and rights organizations.
24 Aug, 2011|
What Works for Women and Girls: Evidence for HIV/AIDS Interventions, now available at www.whatworksforwomen.org, is a comprehensive review of successful HIV programming for women and girls spanning data from more than 2,000 scientific articles and reports in nearly 100 countries. Published by the Open Society Foundations’ Public Health Program, this valuable resource provides a centralized, searchable location for policymakers, donors, and program planners to review evidence of effective gender-specific programming. With scarce resources for HIV and AIDS programs—and a gro