8.30. Governments should assess the demographic and development impact of HIV infection and AIDS. The AIDS pandemic should be controlled through a multisectoral approach that pays sufficient attention to its socio-economic ramifications, including the heavy burden on health infrastructure and household income, its negative impact on the labour force and productivity, and the increasing number of orphaned children. Multisectoral national plans and strategies to deal with AIDS should be integrated into population and development strategies. The socio- economic factors underlying the spread of HIV infection should be investigated, and programmes to address the problems faced by those left orphaned by the AIDS pandemic should be developed.

8.31. Programmes to reduce the spread of HIV infection should give high priority to information, education and communication campaigns to raise awareness and emphasize behavioural change. Sex education and information should be provided to both those infected and those not infected, and especially to adolescents. Health providers, including family-planning providers, need training in counselling on sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infection, including the assessment and identification of high-risk behaviours needing special attention and services; training in the promotion of safe and responsible sexual behaviour, including voluntary abstinence, and condom use; training in the avoidance of contaminated equipment and blood products; and in the avoidance of sharing needles among injecting drug users. Governments should develop guidelines and counselling services on AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases within the primary health-care services. Wherever possible, reproductive health programmes, including family-planning programmes, should include facilities for the diagnosis and treatment of common sexually transmitted diseases, including reproductive tract infection, recognizing that many sexually transmitted diseases increase the risk of HIV transmission. The links between the prevention of HIV infection and the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis should be assured.

8.32. Governments should mobilize all segments of society to control the AIDS pandemic, including non-governmental organizations, community organizations, religious leaders, the private sector, the media, schools and health facilities. Mobilization at the family and community levels should be given priority. Communities need to develop strategies that respond to local perceptions of the priority accorded to health issues associated with the spread of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.

8.33. The international community should mobilize the human and financial resources required to reduce the rate of transmission of HIV infection. To that end, research on a broad range of approaches to prevent HIV transmission and to seek a cure for the disease should be promoted and supported by all countries. In particular, donor and research communities should support and strengthen current efforts to find a vaccine and to develop women-controlled methods, such as vaginal microbicides, to prevent HIV infection. Increased support is also needed for the treatment and care of HIV-infected persons and AIDS patients. The coordination of activities to combat the AIDS pandemic must be enhanced. Particular attention should be given to activities of the United Nations system at the national level, where measures such as joint programmes can improve coordination and ensure a more efficient use of scarce resources. The international community should also mobilize its efforts in monitoring and evaluating the results of various efforts to search for new strategies.

8.34. Governments should develop policies and guidelines to protect the individual rights of and eliminate discrimination against persons infected with HIV and their families. Services to detect HIV infection should be strengthened, making sure that they ensure confidentiality. Special programmes should be devised to provide care and the necessary emotional support to men and women affected by AIDS and to counsel their families and near relations.

8.35. Responsible sexual behaviour, including voluntary sexual abstinence, for the prevention of HIV infection should be promoted and included in education and information programmes. Condoms and drugs for the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases should be made widely available and affordable and should be included in all essential drug lists. Effective action should be taken to further control the quality of blood products and equipment decontamination.

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