Women and HIV: The Experts Speak
Nkandu Luo, Minister of Health, Zambia
"Western leaders must reaffirm their commitment to 'bridging the gap,' the theme of the last World AIDS Conference, by investing in developing countries, especially Africa and in the scientific arena we tend to get excited by new discoveries and forget to build on what we have already discovered. But we must implement these discoveries. In Africa, we need to emphasize a family and holistic approach to reproductive health [involving both men and women] and to develop a more helpful continuum of care."
"HIV/AIDS is not a health problem, it is a socioeconomic and development problem."
"Since the problem of mother-to-child transmission is greatest in Africa, we should probably have the next conference of this great magnitude (i.e., the Global Strategies meeting) in Africa."
"I totally disagree with the term mother-to-child transmission; I call it parental transmission of HIV."
Geeta Rao Lupta, International Center for Women, USA
"From past public health programs, we have learned that we must assure positive health outcomes for mothers alone, for their own sakes. Let's face with honesty rather than avoid or deny the tragedy of assuring an infant's seronegative status without assuring whether it has a mother and a family. And we must not pit mothers against babies; we need to advocate for women's health and to examine gender and social realities for women."
"Women still do not have equal economic or educational or occupational or social options -- men have greater power than women, and the imbalance in power negatively affects women's abilities to prevent being infected and, once infected, to prevent mother-to-child transmission. Long-term strategies will depend on improving women's economic and social status. Empowering women is no longer an option, it is essential."
Mary Glenn Fowler, M.D., M.P.H., of the CDC
"The challenge now is to take these results [of various trials, especially HIVNET 012], particularly in international settings, and translate them into policy."
"Successful PHT prevention strategies must be safe, simple, sustainable through the peripartum period, cost-effective, and attainable."
Jonathon Mann, Former Director of UNAIDS
"The [AIDS] epidemic cannot be stopped in one country until it is stopped in all."
This article was provided by San Francisco AIDS Foundation. It is a part of the publication Bulletin of Experimental Treatments for AIDS. Visit San Francisco AIDS Foundation's Web site to find out more about their activities, publications and services.