Connecting local responses around the world
Dr. Avnish Jolly, Winnipeg, Canada November 27, 2014 : There is no time than now to begin to live mission, one can achieve goal if put in the effort and make a reasonable plan. All we have to do is know what we want and take baby steps to be on your path to success. There will be some accidents along the way, but if we learn from setbacks, we’ll be even more likely to get what we’ve always wanted to accomplish.
Lao Tsu, taught that all straining, all striving are not only vain but counterproductive. One should endeavor to do nothing. But what does this mean? It means not to literally do nothing, but to discern and follow the natural forces – to follow and shape the flow of events and not to pit oneself against the natural order of things. First and foremost to be spontaneous in ones actions, he preached, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.
Individuals and populations suffer violations of their rights that affect health and wellbeing. Health professionals have a part to play in reduction and prevention of these violations and ensuring that health-related policies and practices promote rights. This needs efforts in terms of advocacy, application of legal standards, and public-health programming.
HIV/AIDS pandemic was related with fear, stigma, myth and denial because there was awareness’ about how to prevent and treat it. It was seen as a mission impossible. People living with HIV/AIDS had to fight to be seen, or heard, or to be treated with basic compassion. After continues efforts picture is transformed. The discourse is no more about the reality of HIV/AIDS; rather, the concern is about the best way to totally eradicate this pandemic. Awareness has soared; research has surged. Prevention, treatment and care are now saving lives.
UNAIDS issued new set of AIDS treatment and prevention goals to reach by 2020. In a report issued ahead of World AIDS Day’14, Some of these “Fast Track” goals debuted in July’ 14 International AIDS Conference in Australia, UNAIDS launched 90-90-90–a goal for 2020 that aims to have 90 percent of people with HIV aware of their status; 90 percent of them receiving antiretroviral; and 90 percent of those on AZT having their virus suppressed so they can stay healthy. This report includes a welcome addition; the five-year goal of reducing annual HIV infections to 500,000, and reducing stigma and discrimination to zero in the coming times. But something is missing from this picture: how to get there. UNAIDS has draft versions of prevention and non-discrimination targets that could answer some of these “how” questions.
These goals are thought-provoking, but they aren’t backed by vibrant plans, deliberate thinking or practical under the purview of community development; support for how countries should implement combinations of interventions for sustainable impact. We hope the final versions of both target documents address this gap. Unfortunately, there is a real menace that these targets will be uphill task and even irrelevant because of resource gap at all levels and because targets can seem isolated from the reality of HIV/AIDS programming on the ground in hard-hit communities.
The initial three steps to walk forward must be considering first step, prevention programs need to respect human rights and the realities that communities face. Still HIV/AIDS programs are focused on hot spots of HIV transmission, and among the often marginalized populations most affected; young women, gay and bisexual men, transgender, sex workers and injecting drug users.
Second step, we need to invest in global scale-up of oral PrEP. Daily oral PrEP for HIV/AIDS prevention will never be for everyone. Today, though, PrEP scale-up isn’t keeping up with this momentum. Funders and implementing agencies need to invest in programs and policies to increase access to PrEP.
Third step, we need to walk ahead with research into additional innovative/new prevention, care and treatment options.
According to Confucius, each person had a specific place in society and certain duties to fulfill. Confucius hoped that if people knew what was expected of them they would behave correctly. Therefore, he advocated, “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps”.