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AIDS status & challenges of the epidemic

 

Glossary over AIDS

Antiretroviral drugs

Antiretroviral drugs are used in the treatment of HIV infection. They slow down the replication and, therefore, the spread of the virus within the body. (Source: UNAIDS, Fast facts about AIDS   )

Circumcision

Male circumcision is the surgical removal of all or part of the foreskin of the penis. (Source: UNAIDS  Male circumcision and HIV )

Community

When referring to humans, a community is defined as:

A collection of human beings who have something in common.

A local community is a fairly small group of people who share a common place of residence and a set of institutions based on this fact, but the word ‘community’ is also used to refer to larger collections of people who have something else in common (e.g., national community, donor community).

When referring to other living organisms, a community is defined as:

An assemblage of species occurring in the same space or time, often linked by biotic interactions such as competition or predation. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )

Diaphragm

A contraceptive device consisting of a flexible dome-shaped cup made of rubber or plastic; it is filled with spermicide and inserted in the vagina, over the uterine cervix, before intercourse. (Source: based on Wordnet Contraceptive diaphragm   )

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Epidemic

The widespread outbreak of a disease, or a large number of cases of a disease in a single community or relatively small area. (Source: CoRIS Glossary  )

Equity

Fairness of rights, distribution, and access. Depending on context, this can refer to resources, services, or power. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )

HIV/AIDS

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus, a virus that infects cells of the human immune system and destroys or impairs their function. Infection with this virus results in the progressive depletion of the immune system, leading to immune deficiency.

Immunodeficient people are much more vulnerable to a wide range of infections, most of which are very rare among people without immune deficiency.

AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and describes the collection of symptoms and infections associated with acquired deficiency of the immune system. Infection with HIV has been established as the underlying cause of AIDS. (Source: UNAIDS Fast facts about AIDS   )

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Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

"UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, brings together the efforts and resources of ten UN system organizations to the global AIDS response.

Cosponsors include UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank. Based in Geneva, the UNAIDS secretariat works on the ground in more than 75 countries world wide." (Source: UNAIDS website )

Microbicide

Microbicides are compounds that can be applied inside the vagina or rectum to protect against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

They can be formulated as gels, creams, films, or suppositories. Microbicides may or may not have spermicidal activity (contraceptive effect)

At present, an [entirely] effective microbicide is not available. (Source: WHO Microbicides  )

Pandemic

An epidemic that is geographically widespread; occurring throughout a region or even throughout the world. (Source: CoRIS Glossary  )

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Population

A group or number of people living within a specified area or sharing similar characteristics (such as occupation or age). (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms  )

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Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

"Poverty reduction and sustainable development are the principal tasks of the SDC. To facilitate the achievement of these goals, the SDC focuses on various thematic priorities. In each thematic domain, a sub-goal is targeted while ever keeping in mind the fact that the priority themes are intimately linked to one another." (Source: SDC website )

Therapy

Measures taken to treat a physical or mental disease.

First-line therapy is the first type of therapy given for a condition or disease.

Second-line therapy is the treatment that is given when initial treatment (first-line therapy) doesn't work, or stops working. (Source: based on St Jude Hospital Medical Terminology & Drug Database )

Trend

A pattern of change over time, over and above short-term fluctuations. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium, most commonly Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It affects tissues in the human body, mainly the lungs (pulmonary tuberculosis). It causes small tumors that destroy the tissue.

Symptoms include cough, fatigue, weight loss, difficulty breathing, and fever. (Source: GreenFacts)

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US Center for Disease Control and Prevention

"As the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recognized as the lead federal agency for protecting the health and safety of people - at home and abroad, providing credible information to enhance health decisions, and promoting health through strong partnerships. CDC serves as the national focus for developing and applying disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States."

"CDC, located in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, is an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services." (Source: CDC website )

Virus

A virus is a small organism which can infect other biological organisms.

Viruses can only reproduce by invading and taking over cells as they lack the cellular machinery for self reproduction.

They cause diseases in human beings, animals, plants and bacteria.

Examples of human diseases caused by viruses include the common cold, influenza, small pox, AIDS, and cold sores. (Source: GreenFacts)

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World Health Organization

"The World Health Organization  (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations’ system. WHO experts produce health guidelines and standards, and help countries to address public health issues. WHO also supports and promotes health research. Through WHO, governments can jointly tackle global health problems and improve people’s well-being.

193 countries and two associate members are WHO’s membership. They meet every year at the World Health Assembly in Geneva to set policy for the Organization, approve the Organization’s budget, and every five years, to appoint the Director-General. Their work is supported by the 34-member Executive Board, which is elected by the Health Assembly. Six regional committees focus on health matters of a regional nature."

WHO's scientific publications are widely recognized as a reference source.

The WHO has a number of regional offices which address the specific issues of those regions.

WHO World Regional Offices
  WHO African Region  (46 countries)
  WHO European Region  (53 countries)
  WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region  (21 countries)
  WHO Region of the Americas  (35 countries)
  WHO South-East Asia Region  (11 countries)
  WHO Western Pacific Region  (27 countries)

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