Sexually Transmitted Infections, HIV Infection and AIDS

         The Regional Committee,

         Having considered the annual report on sexually transmitted infections (STI), HIV infection and AIDS; ***

         Noting with deep concern the continued increase in HIV infections and AIDS cases in the Region, the high prevalence and increasing incidence of STI in selected areas and populations, and their potential negative impact on people and health systems;

         Recognizing that the prevention of new HIV infections is central to curtailing the epidemic in the Region;

         Noting the promising results of condom promotion and health education programmes targeting commercial sex workers and their clients in selected countries of the Region;

         Noting the lessons that can be learned from these and other successful programmes in the Region;

         Noting further the recent developments in access to and use of antiretroviral treatments, and therapy for opportunistic infections;

         Acknowledging the importance, particularly in a context of increasing HIV transmission in the Region, of strengthening policies and legislation supporting STI, HIV and AIDS prevention and control programmes;

         Recognizing the role that health promotion plays in educating vulnerable groups, particularly youth, about high-risk behaviour;

  1. URGES Member States:
    (1) to continue to reinforce primary prevention of HIV transmission, including targeting those at greatest risk of HIV infection with effective condom promotion programmes, appropriate management and control of STI, and risk reduction programmes for injecting drug users;
    (2) to continue to reinforce blood safety programmes;
    (3) to strengthen epidemiological surveillance, including behavioural surveillance, of STI, HIV infection and AIDS;
    (4) to prepare health systems to meet the increasing demand for care from growing numbers of AIDS patients;
    (5) to strengthen the implementation of policies and programmes aimed at reducing stigmatisation of patients with AIDS;
    (6) to develop or strengthen national policies on access to drugs for HIV and AIDS treatment;
    (7) to further investigate the feasibility, costs and benefits of introducing programmes to prevent mother–to-child transmission;
    (8) to strengthen health promotion for vulnerable groups, particularly youth, in the context of an integrated approach;
    (9) to secure and strengthen political commitment and mobilize additional resources for these programmes within an integrated approach;
    (10) to strengthen multisectoral collaboration;
  2. REQUESTS the Regional Director:
    (1) to further strengthen technical collaboration with Member States, paying particular attention to:
    (a) primary prevention through condom promotion;
    (b) blood safety policies;
    (c) care for AIDS patients, including access to drugs for HIV and AIDS treatment;
    (d) appropriate strategies for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission;
    (e) appropriate legislation
    (2) to continue to improve the regional surveillance system for STI, HIV AIDS and related bloodborne infections;
    (3) to strengthen WHO's coordination with UNAIDS, its other cosponsors and partners and to strengthen multisectoral collaboration and increase mobilization of resources;
    (4) to continue to report annually to the Regional Committee on the situation of STI and HIV/AIDS in the Region.

*** WPR/RC51/6

21 September 2000

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