This is according to Dr Catherine Hankins, the UNAIDS Chief Scientific Advisor.
Speaking on the eve of the special United Nations High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases, Hankins said the AIDS sector had managed to bring patients, health workers, communities and funders together.
‘This has had a positive impact on treatment, care, [medicine] procurement, adherence. What has been particularly important is the community engagement which we haven’t seen in any other illness,’ said Hankins.
‘Non-communicable diseases could take a leaf out of the HIV/AIDS sector’s book and start working together with all stakeholders, getting people with NCD such as diabetes to speak out to improve primary care,’ said Hankins.
The NCD sector is lobbying for widespread chronic diseases including cancer and diabetes to be included in the sixth Millenium Development Goal, which commits the global community to ‘combatting HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases’ by 2015.
Should they succeed, this means that targets to address and reduce these diseases will be set and governments’ progress to address these will be measured in the run-up to the 2015 deadline for the MDGs.