Cover page From Early Warning to Development Sector Responses against HIV/AIDS Epidemics ISBN/DATE
 

 

 

Authors: Philip Guest, Jacques du Guerny and Lee-Nah Hsu

 

Foreword

Strategies designed to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS have been developed under a health paradigm focusing on prevention efforts to reduce the risk of infection (blood products, clean needles and safer sex), care and mitigation of the effects of infection on the infected person, family and community. HIV prevention efforts in South East Asia have predominantly been reactive rather than preventive in that programming responses are based on the prevalence of already infected cases. This approach relies on the proximate determinant of sero-conversion in particular groups and in geographic locations.
The Early Warning Rapid Response System examines the development paradigm, focusing on the factors which influence background vulnerabilities conducive to increasing or reducing HIV vulnerabilities. This emerging paradigm does not replace the health approach, but complements it. As yet no comprehensive system exists whereby informaČtion on socio-economic factors that make particular groups and locations vulnerable to HIV in South East Asia can be quickly gathered, analyzed and appropriate warnings given so that rapid responses through development strategies and actions can be made by HIV prevention implementing agencies, governments, NGOs and private sectors. Such warning systems can be found in many areas. For example, weather projection techniques enable one to forecast the coming of a drought rather than waiting for the drought to occur. Such knowledge enables agriculture to take preventive and mitigating measures such as introducing drought resistant crops and seeds, thus reducing the need for rural fanners and family members to migrate in search of resources.
The EWRRS offers a vehicle for rapid assimilation of relevant data among stakeholders through easily understandable graphic presentation of HIV vulnerability factors in a region undergoing rapid development. This publication is based upon two EWRRS workshops on 13A-14* June 2002 and 16th October 2002 and provides a mechanism through which vulnerability can be addressed in specific locations and among specific groups. It will give implementers a valid and reliable basis upon which to act in a timely (that is pre-emptive) manner, before HIV takes hold in particular areas as well as contributing to limit its spread in other areas.

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May 2003