Friday, July 22, 2011

"Friday Night feeling"? FED UP with your job? Job satisfaction, motivati...

Improve job satisfaction and staff engagement in your teams. Surveys of motivation, workplace engagement, wanting to find purpose at work. Mid-life crisis, passion for work, work-life balance and family life, hobbies, personal interests. Satisfaction and morale at work in public satisfaction. Public sector workers, business workplace and lessons for leaders, team managers. Video by Patrick Dixon, conference keynote speaker for Welsh Parliament public sector workers, doctors, nurses, council workers, teachers, non-profit workers, social workers. Human resources. Management training programme. Connect with passion -- mind, body and spirit. Passion to make a difference. Purpose and meaning in life comes from sense of calling and destiny, contributing to the lives of other people. Secret of personal happiness -- friends, relationships, spirituality, optimistic frame of mind. Keynote speaker Patrick Dixon for Welsh Parliament

Vital lessons for all leaders from volunteering, non-profit foundations....

Lessons from non-profit organisations, volunteer groups, charities and foundations, and passions for future of our wider world, issues, activism, campaigns, environment, global warming. Improve job satisfaction and staff engagement in your teams. Surveys of motivation, workplace engagement, wanting to find purpose at work. Mid-life crisis, passion for work, work-life balance and family life, hobbies, personal interests. Satisfaction and morale at work in public satisfaction. Public sector workers, business workplace and lessons for leaders, team managers. Video by Patrick Dixon, conference keynote speaker for Welsh Parliament public sector workers, doctors, nurses, council workers, teachers, non-profit workers, social workers. Human resources. Management training programme. Connect with passion -- mind, body and spirit. Passion to make a difference. Purpose and meaning in life comes from sense of calling and destiny, contributing to the lives of other people. Secret of personal happiness -- friends, relationships, spirituality, optimistic frame of mind.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

How to change your world! Manage teams, transform public sector workers:...

How to make things happen. Personal story from cancer doctor to starting an international AIDS charity, to bringing change inside large organisations. Successes and failures and how we learn from them. Patrick Dixon -- conference keynote speaker -- presentation for Welsh Parliament to public sector workers -- police officers, fire service, local councils, municipal authorities, teachers, social workers, health visitors, care assistants, community officers, health and safety advisors, government contractors and service providers. Changing culture, challenging structures and attitudes. Story of ACET -- AIDS Care Education and Training and how Patrick Dixon started the AIDS organization as a care programme from home. How the NHS (health service) and social services in UK failed people living with HIV, affected by AIDS. Practical leadership lessons in change management for public sector workers. Team leadership and motivation to change working practices.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Why teaching is such an important calling


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Future of the pharmaceutical industry -- conference ...

Generic competition and product recalls. Patent expiry and intellectual property protection. Legal challenges and research scandals. Biogenerics and large molecule therapeutics. Cellular mechanisms of disease. Unmet needs. Government purchasing policies and insurance cover. Online pharmacy price pressures. Search for new blockbusters. Chronic disease and orphan therapies. Rheumatoid and asthma. Antibiotics and multiple resistance problems. Search for powerful antiviral therapy. Future health funding and ageing populations. Contrast with emerging nations. Treatment access and justice issues. Pharmacogenomics and gene prophecy. Ethical issues. HIV and AIDS.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

WHO recognises major role of faith based organisations in HIV / AIDS prevention and care

A new WHO report has acknowledged the major role of faith-based organisations in HIV/AIDS care and treatment in sub-Saharan Africa - full article accessible at, report available at


Saturday, June 23, 2007

More on male circumcision as HIV prevention method

Reports in Kenya study suggest approximate halving of risk of HIV infection in men who were circumcised. The results support the findings of the South Africa Orange Farm Intervention Trial, funded by the French Agence Nationale de Recherches sur le SIDA (ANRS) and published in late 2005, which demonstrated at least a 60% reduction in HIV infection among circumcised men.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

PEPFAR in 2004, 2005 Did Not Keep Accurate HIV/AIDS Service Delivery Data, Effectively Monitor Grant Recipients, Audits, Officials Say

The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief's push for "fast results" has meant that "basic record keeping and accountability often went by the wayside," according to several government audits and officials who looked at 2004 and 2005 services delivered to people living with HIV/AIDS through PEPFAR grant recipients, the AP/Yahoo! News reports. Government investigators said PEPFAR "overcounted and undercounted" people targeted by the program and could not authenticate local groups' claims of success in preventing the spread of HIV or caring for people living with the virus. According to the AP/Yahoo! News, the Bush administration has worked to fix the problems found in the countries cited in the audits. PEPFAR, which was launched in 2003, aims to treat two million HIV-positive people by 2008, prevent seven million new HIV infections, and provide care and support services to 10 million HIV-positive people and orphans. Joe Farinella, assistant inspector general for USAID, oversaw the investigations into how PEPFAR money was spent overseas in 2004 and 2005. He said that many recipients neglected to keep records that would provide "reasonable assurance that what they say was done was in fact carried out." The 2006 annual PEPFAR report to Congress said 5,200 AIDS orphans in Guyana received services under the program, but auditors documented fewer than 300 orphans received services, and many of those who did receive services were not affected by AIDS, according to the AP/Yahoo! News. According to auditors, about 83% of the records from subcontractors in Guyana for Family Health International, one of the largest recipients of PEPFAR grants, were erroneous or unsubstantiated. An Aug. 11, 2006, audit found that some provincial governments in South Africa declined to give information on HIV/AIDS testing and counseling, leading to "severe underreporting" in the number patients who were helped by PEPFAR funding.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Serious faults identified in design and reporting of abstinence-only studies

I found this on

which is a very good site.

I think that perhaps if churches involve secular entities, such as Universities, when designing evaluations, problems like the ones described below might be overcome.

Warm regards

Calle Almedal
Senior Adviser
Partnerships Unit
20 Avenue Appia
CH 1211 Geneva 27


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rick Warren's STOP and SLOW for AIDS prevention

Comment: I think this is brilliant as a double approach based on common sense.

Patrick D

Prevention, especially in women who make up over half of the adults infected with AIDS, was a major theme of the International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Toronto last week. During the conference, the ABC model was criticized by some because it fails to address situation and factors such as the helplessness of women. For example, a woman could have abstained from sex until marriage and been faithful to her spouse, but she may still acquire the HIV virus through her husband if he did not tell her he had AIDS or if he was unfaithful.

Rick Warren, who attended and presented at the AIDS conference, said although he thinks ABC is good, he would like to share two alternative models - "SLOW" and "STOP," that consider a greater number of factors and situations. According to Saddleback Church staff members who went to Toronto with Warren, the two alternative models were presented for the first time at the ecumenical pre-conference held a few days prior to IAC.

"Instead of debating ABC, I think the question to ask is: 'What is the purpose of prevention?' Tell me what the purpose of prevention is and I'll tell you which strategy you should use," Warren told The Christian Post this week during an interview. "Is your purpose to curb or reduce the pandemic? Or is it to cure it, get rid of it?"

Warren said many people are more interested in slowing down the pandemic instead of stopping it because they are not willing to make behavioral changes. Although he disagrees, saying it's a "primarily behavior-based disease," his "SLOW" model offers four steps that will reduce the number of people infected with AIDS.

"SLOW" stands for Supply condoms, Limit the number of partners, Offer needle exchanges to addicts, and Wait for sex as long as possible.

"Those four things will slow the pandemic; no doubt about it," commented Warren. "They're very popular and at the conference those four were talked about over and over because they don't require behavioral change. They're not painful. They don't allow you to need much discipline. They're just easy to do. So they're popular and they're easy."

However, the "STOP" model, which requires behavioral changes and is "much more difficult," will stop the pandemic in "one single generation," according to Warren. "STOP" stands for Save sex for marriage, Train men to treat women with respect, Offer nutrition and medications through churches, and Pledge yourself to one partner.

Other Christian groups, such as U.K.-based Christian Aid, have also supported alternative strategies to "ABC."

"Now when you ask me what I'm interested in, I'm interested in doing both. I want to 'slow' it and I want to 'stop' it," said Warren. "So I'll use anything I can to help save a life."

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

AIDS and You by Dr Patrick Dixon – 300,000 books now given away

At a recent meeting between ACET and Operation Mobilisation there was a review of the global distribution of my book AIDS and You. The book contains many facts and statistics about AIDS, questions and answers, practical help and advice for project workers, and pastoral insights for church leaders. Over 300,000 copies have now been given away to leaders and community workers in the poorest nations, translated into more than 20 languages. Free copies are available from The entire text can also be downloaded for use in your own work.


Monday, June 18, 2007

ACET work in South Africa - Eastern Cape and the issue of volunteer stipends

An unusual situation in South Africa – why we need to pay volunteers!

I started ACET as an international AIDS foundation in 1988. Here is some background on the situation in South Africa and issues we face in just one of 22 nations where ACET works.

Over 25% of South Africa live on less than £2 a day and that includes most of the people in the poorest areas where ACET works. Although some people do volunteer without any reward they need some basic income for essentials such as food since the time they give means they have less time to grow their own. We have trained a group of 50 volunteers who are currently working unpaid but this is proving unsustainable and we urgently need funding to pay them a monthly stipend. The government strongly encourages volunteering by very poor people. This has created an expectation among all those who are ‘volunteering’ that they will be given some kind of allowance – and indeed they need to be.


AIDS knows no geographic, cultural or religious boundaries. The epidemic is out of control and kills more people every year than any other disease. There are 40 million infected with HIV and millions more affected by the loss of loved ones who have already died from AIDS. Despite encouraging signs of reduced HIV infection levels in some countries and the development of new drugs to combat AIDS the global response to the pandemic is still overwhelmed by the needs. No cure or vaccines are available, or likely to become so, although HIV is preventable. The situation is so serious it is reversing some of the progress made in the poorest nations over the past 20 years.


South Africa has the highest number of HIV infections of any country in the world: more than 5 million of South Africa’s 45 million people are infected with the HIV virus. As many as one thousand people die each day of AIDS-related illnesses; as many as fifteen hundred people are infected daily. More than 660,000 South African children have lost one or both parent to AIDS. Since the onset of the AIDS pandemic, life expectancy in South Africa has dropped from 68 to 36.

In the midst of these grim realities, the level of infection continues to rise. HIV prevalence among antenatal pregnant women, the most reliable indicator of disease trends, has increased from less than 1% 15 years ago to almost 30% today.
The disease flourishes in an environment of poverty and unemployment where sex can be variously an exchange for affection, a badge of power, an economic necessity or simply an affordable way to pass the time.

A catastrophic HIV/AIDS epidemic

HIV is still spreading faster in South Africa than prevention efforts and there is an urgent need to catch up. There are government initiatives to teach young people about HIV/AIDS. Some information filters through and children generally know what HIV and AIDS stand for. But they have little concept of the implications of HIV and although they chorus safe sex is to “condomise” in practice the majority do not use them. Abstinence, or delaying sexual debut, and being faithful are not even considered as options.

With the huge number of AIDS related deaths and the stigma still attached to being HIV+ve families are disintegrating. Long established kinship structures in Africa have traditionally provided a haven for children in distress. But these have broken down giving rise to a rapidly growing number of child headed households. Many women and girls are turning to prostitution in an effort to reduce the financial pressures thus creating a vicious cycle of new infection. Medical facilities and resources are overwhelmed by those with HIV related illnesses and AIDS. Many people are dying painful and lonely deaths without receiving proper care or adequate treatment.

How can we respond to the overwhelming need?

The good news is that HIV is preventable. Therefore there is an urgent need for effective HIV prevention training and education, especially for young people in schools. Care is needed for those who are sick so that pain and suffering are alleviated and families supported through the challenges of caring for dying loved ones.

By investing in small to medium sized entrepreneurial community based projects it is possible to rapidly build capacity to reach much higher numbers of people with effective HIV prevention education and training and to expand volunteer teams to provide care to the sick.

Targeting South Africa’s Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape is the poorest province in terms of average monthly expenditure, followed by Free State and the Northern Province according to the Statistics SA report: Measuring Poverty in South Africa. It is estimated that in the Eastern Cape over 100,000 young people aged 15-19 are HIV positive. Within the regional population as a whole it is estimated 57.7% of women and 42.7% of men aged 15-49 are living with HIV. Started in August 2006 ACET EC was set up to implement HIV/AIDS prevention and care programmes.

HIV prevention in schools

The primary theme of much of AIDS education is risk-reduction through the use of condoms, an approach that is limited in efficacy by cultural, behavioural and logistics factors. ACET Educators are trained to deliver a series of two lessons about HIV/AIDS and how to avoid being infected. The first half of the programme presents biological facts and risk factors, exposes myths and describes how HIV can spread through communities. The session also covers other sexually transmitted diseases, drug abuse and contraception.

The second half of the programme deals with the importance of premarital sexual abstinence and marital fidelity. Teachers are invited to the sessions and discussions. They also help with the evaluation and our trainers show them how they can incorporate the information into other lessons.

ACET’s team of volunteer educators are all fully trained and this year we plan to visit 20 schools in the 2007/2008 academic year. We currently have 15 volunteers who do assemblies and classes. In this way we expect to reach over 12,000 students with our high impact HIV prevention programme.

You can donate to ACET:

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Stopping spread of AIDS in Africa - by Patrick Dixon

Prevention programmes impact in Africa - video about work of ACET and other agencies in Uganda and potential role of mobile phone companies. Short excert of presentation for MTN in South Africa.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Letter to supporters of ACET

With programmes in 22 countries, ACET is part of the global response to the AIDS pandemic, which is hitting the poorest nations so hard, especially in Africa.

I am often inspired by our volunteers and dedicated staff who give so generously of their time and resources to go into their communities with a life saving prevention message or to care for those who are sick.

All over the world ACET teams are educating and training people how to reduce the spread of HIV. For example in Slovakia we have reached over 165,000 pupils. And in Uganda we can reach a class of 60 young people with a life saving message for as little as £20.

For thousands who are already sick, teams of volunteers are providing home based care and we also support hundreds of children through school to ensure they can have a safer, brighter future.

This newsletter is full of stories of how ACET volunteers have responded to the challenge of HIV, working in partnership with churches, communities and faith-based organisations. They have made a huge difference from Russian Siberia to South Africa’s Eastern Cape.

Thank you for your support which has made all this possible. Please continue to support us if you can. Every year a new generation of young people becomes sexually mature and we must make sure they all have the opportunity to hear an HIV prevention message before it is too late. And sadly, every few weeks yet more people become sick with AIDS, many of whom have young children who also need care.

If you would like to support our work financially, every little helps, so please give whatever you can afford so we can save more lives and help those in need.

Yours sincerely

Dr Patrick Dixon
Founder, ACET

* You can donate on - for example it costs less than £2 a month to pay for the school fees of an AIDS orphan in Zimabwe.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Male circumcision reduces risk of HIV / AIDS transmission

Church networks responding to HIV and AIDS welcome findings on prevention effects of male circumcision

“Churches and their related health networks and facilities need to seriously consider how male circumcision can be incorporated into comprehensive HIV prevention strategies,” says Dr Manoj Kurian, program executive for health and healing, World Council of Churches. Kurian is reacting to the findings of two studies reported in The Lancet on 23 February, which confirm that male circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection in men by 50-60 percent.

“Any effective means of preventing the spread of HIV that is based on solid scientific evidence we should welcome and take into account,” states Kurian.
The Lancet articles report on randomized, controlled studies in Kenya and Uganda that confirm findings of earlier research on the effectiveness of male circumcision in preventing HIV infection. The procedures were carried out by trained physicians and accompanied by educational efforts and advice. A related article in the same edition recommends the rapid scale up of medical services to include male circumcision for prevention of HIV infection along with its other health benefits."

Comment: nothing new here. We have known for more than a decade that circumcision reduces risk of HIV transmission - it may be that it makes ulceration from other sex diseases less likely. But this latest report shows the issue again needs addressing as part of HIV strategies.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Global Fund seeks new support to fight AIDS

The Global Fund is now engaged in its second replenishment process. A first meeting will be held in Oslo, Norway, 6-7 March 2007, in which the Global Fund and its donors – primarily governments – should come to an agreement on the target figure for the replenishment process. For more information about the prayer meetings around the Global Fund Replenishment Meeting in Oslo and how you can take action to encourage your government to agree and increase its financial commitment see


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Melinda Gates Says Buffett's Donation Could Be Used for HIV Vaccine Research, Other Projects

Further news and comment on Warren Buffett's donation to the Gates Foundation.

Melinda Gates Says Buffett's Donation Could Be Used for HIV Vaccine Research, Other Projects

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aims to use a portion of the donations totaling more than $30 billion from Berkshire Hathaway Chair Warren Buffett to fund HIV vaccine research and microbicides. Melinda Gates on Tuesday said her "fondest dream" is an HIV/AIDS vaccine but added that it could take 20 years of research and development to attain. She added that microbicides have the potential to aid in a temporary solution to HIV prevention until a vaccine is developed (
New York Times, 6/27). Microbicides include a range of products -- such as gels, films and sponges -- that could help prevent the sexual transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/27). Bill Gates at the news conference said, "There is no reason we can't cure the top 20 diseases" (Milton, AP/Boston Globe, 6/26). He asked, "Can that happen in our lifetime?" adding, "I'll be optimistic and say absolutely" (New York Times, 4/27). Bill Gates also said the Gates Foundation recently has become interested in the practice of microcredit, which aims to help women and families start businesses and save money. In addition, the foundation has become interested in agricultural biotechnology to help secure food sources, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

FW: Warren Buffett To Give More Than $30B to Gates Foundation, About $3B to Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation

This is a not insignificant piece of news - more money is now going in to fitting HIV & AIDS, TB and malaria from two US billionaires than from all the G8 nations donations to the Global Fund.

Steven Fouch
Allied Professions Secretary
Christian Medical Fellowship

Partnership House
157 Waterloo Road

T: +44 [0]20 7928 4694
F: +44 [0]20 7620 2453
W: /

Warren Buffett To Give More Than $30B to Gates Foundation, About $3B to Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation

Berkshire Hathaway Chair Warren Buffett on Sunday disclosed that he plans to donate stock currently valued at about $30.7 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wall Street Journal reports (Richardson, Wall Street Journal, 6/26). The Gates Foundation has an endowment of $29 billion and has spent more than $10 billion, much of it on programs to fight HIV/AIDS and other global health concerns. Bill Gates earlier this month announced that he plans to relinquish over the next two years all daily work duties at Microsoft, the company he founded, and work full time at the Gates Foundation (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/16). Buffett said he plans initially to give $1.54 billion to the Gates Foundation and give annual donations that will "trend higher in an irregular but eventually substantial manner" (Blair Smith, USA Today, 6/26). In a letter dated Monday to Bill and Melinda Gates, Buffett said he wants all of his money to be distributed by the Gates Foundation in the year it is donated instead of contributed to the foundation's assets used for future giving (Gordon Blankinship, AP/CBS News, 6/26). According to the New York Times, the conditions of the donation require that Bill or Melinda Gates continue active participation in their foundation, and the terms of the donation could change when Buffett, age 75, dies. Buffett also will become a trustee of the Gates Foundation, the Times reports (O'Brien/Saul, New York Times, 6/26). Buffett on Sunday also disclosed he gradually plans to donate 85% of his wealth, all in Berkshire stock (Loomis [1], Fortune, 6/25). In addition to the Gates Foundation donations, he plans to give about $3 billion to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation -- which is named after his late wife and supports reproductive health and rights, family planning and college scholarship programs -- and about $1.07 billion each to foundations run by his three children -- the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the Susan A. Buffett Foundation and the NoVo Foundation, according to the Chicago Tribune. The foundations support the arts, child protection, education and the environment.

Buffett, Gates Comments
Many observers had expected Buffett to give most of his money to the Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation, the Tribune reports (Miller, Chicago Tribune, 6/26). Buffett said, "[I]f I had died before Susie and she had begun to distribute our wealth, this is the foundation that would have scaled up to a much bigger size," adding, "I came to realize that there was a terrific foundation that was already scaled up ... and that could productively use my money now" (Loomis [2], Fortune, 6/25). He also said he has "grown to admire" what the Gateses are accomplishing with their foundation. Bill and Melinda Gates in a statement said, "We are awed by our friend Warren Buffett's decision to use his fortune to address the world's most challenging inequities," adding, "Working with [Buffett] and our partners around the world, we have a tremendous opportunity to make a positive difference in the world."

"What Gates did was insert new hope by stimulating new knowledge, new products or just new thinking," Anders Norstrom, acting director-general of the World Health Organization, said, adding that Buffett's commitment to use the Gates Foundation as a vehicle for his philanthropy, "from a WHO perspective, is a very good sign." According to the Los Angeles Times, public health researchers were "assembling their wish lists" within hours of Buffett's disclosure. "If anything, Buffett's involvement brings a broader range of thinking," Mark Miller of NIH said (Piller/Farley, Los Angeles Times, 6/25). Buffett's donation "continues to increase the size of the Gates Foundation and the size and scope of the projects they can undertake," Gene Tempel, executive director of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, said, adding, "They will have organizational challenges in determining how they manage that, how they create the kind of partnerships and staffing that can carry out the work" (New York Times, 6/26).

Wall Street Journal Examines Gates Foundation, Gates' Shift to Full-Time Work at Foundation
The Wall Street Journal on Monday examined Bill Gates' upcoming shift from his duties at Microsoft to devoting more time to the Gates Foundation, to which some people say he might "bring his fabled micromanagement style" (Chase, Wall Street Journal, 6/26). Gates said he does not plan to run the foundation but will have a similar role in its operations to his current one at Microsoft (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/22). According to the Journal, Gates is able to gain "far greater access to world leaders" than the "average philanthropist" or his foundation employees, who are a "cadre of handpicked physicians, public health veterans and corporate leaders." The Gates Foundation, which aims to "alter the landscape of poverty and disease in developing countries," will increase its staff from 275 to about 500 in the coming years, and its future under Gates' leadership "will likely see an intensification of its corporate-style, evidence-based approach to philanthropy," the Journal reports. The foundation's programs often "reflec[t] a growing view that health and welfare are directly linked to development and global security issues," according to the Journal. "They don't nickel and dime. They decide on a priority, decide what's needed, fund it and pull in other funders with them," David Heymann, polio chief at WHO, said, adding, "They decide on priorities and go after them. That's something public health never had before" (Wall Street Journal, 6/26).

Monday, June 26, 2006

Letter to editor of The Lancet defends ABC asevidence-based, not PEPFAR driven


This message is a defense of the ABC approach to preventing the sexual transmission of HIV. This correspondence responds to a recent editorial in The Lancet commenting on the US Government's PEPFAR priorities which argued that "what is really needed is a complete reversal of policy. Rigorous implementation of the “C” part of ABC is crucial if PEPFAR is to reach its target of preventing 7 million new infections by 2010." The editorial writers concluded by urging the U.S. Congress to "ask whether the $600 million ear-marked for prevention programmes based on abstinence and faithfulness is an effective use of US tax-payers' money. Many more lives will be saved if condom use is heavily promoted alongside messages to abstain and be faithful." Here is the letter to the editor, accessible online at

The Lancet 2006; 367:1978-1979. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)68879-X

PEPFAR and HIV prevention in Africa

Richard Kamwi a, Thomas Kenyon b, and Gary Newton c

We offer a country perspective on your Editorial (April 15, p 1213)1 about the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Because of an unprecedented influx of funds in early 2004, African countries, US government agencies, and partners have indeed been mounting an accelerated emergency response to the HIV/AIDS crisis based on local strategies and priorities. This response includes support for a balanced ABC (abstention, be faithful, use a condom) approach,2 which was originally and independently adopted by African countries in the 1990s to prevent sexual transmission—the major source of HIV in Africa. Findings from Uganda, and more recently Kenya and Zimbabwe, show an association between declines in HIV prevalence and behaviour change consistent with the ABC approach.3–5

ABC is therefore evidence based 3–5 and is not driven by PEPFAR but by African countries,2 which is critical for sustainability. We know how to prevent HIV transmission—it is urgent that we mobilise resources to do so in a locally appropriate manner. Condom programmes receive support from numerous partners, making PEPFAR support for a balanced ABC portfolio all the more necessary. Shifting resources to “C” at the expense of “AB”, as called for in your Editorial, could compromise expansion of programmes to empower young people to say no to sex and to empower individuals to restrict their number of sexual partners.

Difficult decisions about funding must continue to be made in partnership with host governments. Many more lives will be saved if we can remain focused on urgently addressing unmet HIV prevention needs, recognising that ABC is currently the most effective way to do that.

We declare that we have no conflict of interest. The views and opinions expressed in this letter do not necessarily reflect those of the governments of Namibia or the USA.

1. The Lancet. HIV prevention policy needs and urgent cure. Lancet 2006; 367: 1213. Full Text PDF (32 KB) CrossRef

2. Halperin DT, Steiner MJ, Cassell MM, et al. The time has come for common ground on preventing sexual transmission of HIV. Lancet 2004; 364: 1913-1915. Full Text PDF (103 KB) CrossRef

3. Kirungi WL, Musinguzi J, Madraa E, et al. Trends in antenatal HIV prevalence in urban Uganda associated with uptake of preventive sexual behaviour. Sex Transm Infect 2006; 82 (suppl 1): i36-i41. CrossRef

4. Cheluget B, Baltazar G, Orege P, Ibrahim M, Marum LH, Stover J. Evidence for population level declines in adult HIV prevalence in Kenya. Sex Transm Infect 2006; 82 (suppl 1): i21-i26. CrossRef

5. Mahomva A, Greby S, Dube S, et al. HIV prevalence and trends from data in Zimbabwe, 1997–2004. Sex Transm Infect 2006; 82 (suppl 1): i42-i47. CrossRef


a. Minister of Health and Social Services, Windhoek, Namibia
b. Global AIDS Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
Windhoek, Namibia
c. United States Agency for International Development,
Windhoek, Namibia

Friday, June 23, 2006

Interesting insights on AIDS in China

I was sent this very interesting article about AIDS in China today….

Letter from China: Where heroin flows, an AIDS explosion

By Jehangir S. Pocha

The Boston Globe

International Herald Tribune

June 8, 2006

KUNMING, China This scenic capital of China's southern Yunnan

Province has earned itself a more unsavory sobriquet - China's AIDS


Historically, this multi-ethnic region of stunning valleys and

gorges, including a site locals say is the fabled region of Shangri- La, stood out in mostly Han China for its uniquely diverse culture

and beauty.

Now the province, where China's first HIV cases were discovered in

the early 1990s, is home to about 30,000 of the 140,000 Chinese who

are HIV- positive, according to official reports. And that is almost

certainly an underestimate, said Yang Maobin, director of Daytop, an

HIV/AIDS care center in Kunming.

Experts say that in reality there could be as many as 200,000 HIV

cases in Yunnan and 300,000 more in the neighboring autonomous

regions of Guangxi and western Xinjiang. Part of the reason almost

half of China's HIV cases are concentrated in these areas is their

proximity to the world's largest heroin-producing areas -

Afghanistan in the case of Xinjiang and the "Golden Triangle"

countries of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos in the case of Yunnan and


Thursday, June 22, 2006

FW: "The ABC Approach to Preventing the Sexual Transmission of HIV: Common Questions and Answers".

Subject: "The ABC Approach to Preventing the Sexual Transmission of HIV: Common Questions and Answers".

Christian Connections in International Health have now released their 44 page long detailed briefing paper on ABC approaches to HIV prevention, looking at the research base, current evidence, common questions and criticisms, etc, etc.

The PDF can be downloaded at,

Steven Fouch
Allied Professions Secretary
Christian Medical Fellowship

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Press release I saw today following the UNGAS AIDS conference

Following the AIDS Summit, African Union Chair Recommits to the Targets on HIV/AIDS for Africa and urges Donors to Fund New Efforts to Achieve Universal Access by 2010-


 Addis Ababa, 15 June – Following the United Nations General Assembly's High Level Meeting on AIDS which took place from 31 May to 2 June in New York, the Chairperson of the African Union reaffirmed today the commitment of all African countries to achieve coverage rates of 80% for HIV treatment and prevention by 2010.



"Universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, care and support must become a reality," said Denis Sassou-Nguesso, African Union Chairperson and the President of the Republic of Congo. "Africa bears the highest burden of disease, sickness and death from the AIDS pandemic. Africa also bears a responsibility to set and fulfill measurable, time-bound targets, in order to work towards a common goal of stopping this catastrophe."



The new targets were set by African leaders during the Special Summit of the African Union on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, held 2-4 May 2006 in Abuja, Nigeria. (See



President Sassou-Nguesso also called upon African governments and international donors to work together to fully fund the AIDS response in Africa. Despite an upsurge over the last five years in resources available for AIDS treatment, care and prevention programs, the international community is not yet funding the AIDS response at the level needed. Internationally, at least $20 billion annually is needed by 2010 worldwide to fund the fight against AIDS.



This UNAIDS estimate of annual resource needs to fight AIDS, was recognized by UN Member States during the High Level Meeting, along with a commitment to take measures to ensure that new and additional resources are made available from donor countries and also from national budgets and other national sources.



The declaration made at the close of the High Level Meeting also included a commitment to set national targets and scale up national AIDS responses towards the goal of universal access to comprehensive prevention programmes, treatment, care and support by 2010. 


Addis Ababa, June 19, 2006