AIDS a model for chronic diseases

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.

‘€œThis 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.

‘€œNon-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 ‘€œcombatting 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.

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