Wednesday, September 27, 2006

HIV Perspectives after 25 years

The Journal of Urban Health recently put together a series entitled “HIV Perspectives after 25 years”. The articles in the issue include:
  • immigration and HIV in New York City
  • integration of HIV prevention activities into the medical care setting
  • conceptual articles about structural intervention
  • the importance of funding prevention as well as vaccine research
  • the devastating effect of HIV/AIDS on children.

The series serves well to show not only how many issues the epidemic affects but also how vast the field of study has become.

While there is no article that explicitly touches on the relationship between human rights and HIV/AIDS, the concept of structural intervention is featured prominently. The articles advocate approaches to public health that alleviate the burden of blame on individuals. Pinning blame on individuals can obstruct the right to health.

The authors state, “[structural interventions] locate the cause of public health problems in contextual or environmental factors that influence risk behavior…rather than in characteristics of the individuals who engage in risk behaviors”.

The authors define four important types of structural interventions in HIV prevention: community mobilization, integration of HIV services, and economic and education interventions.

These articles can be found at:
Journal of Urban Health, Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine (2006) Vol. 83, No.1

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