Governments, Organizations Must Implement HIV/AIDS Prevention Programs for Displaced Persons, IAC Panel Says
July 15, 2004
Governments and international organizations must make commitments to implement HIV/AIDS prevention programs targeted at migrant workers, refugees and other mobile populations, participants of a session on displaced populations and AIDS said on Thursday at the XV International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. These groups face many inequalities that facilitate the spread of HIV, including poverty, exploitation, separation from families and partners and a disruption in familiar social environments that influence behaviors in established communities. Because most migrant workers lack HIV/AIDS awareness; have poor access to treatment, voluntary testing and counseling; and have no job security, many are not treated until they need emergency care, according to Dr. Cynthia Maung, who cares for displaced populations on Thailand's border with Burma. Migrants and other displaced populations "experience continuing oppression that most people hope to leave behind" when they leave their original areas, she said. Christine Amongin Aporu, minister of state for disaster preparedness and refugees in Uganda, urged national leaders to declare their commitment to HIV/AIDS prevention for displaced populations and increase funding for such programs. In addition, she called on nations to fully fund the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which has granted money to some programs focusing on displaced persons, and urged the United States to honor its commitment of providing $3.5 billion in 2005 through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.