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Review About Hiv/Aids

1478 words - 6 pages

Kapocs

Review

In this paper entitled "HIV/AIDS and injecting drug use: Information, education and communication" the authors (Peter Aggleton, Paul Jenkins, Anne Malcolm) approaches the field of HIV/AIDS prevention and harm reduction among injecting drug users. We all know that it is a broad context to deal with, but here the readers can learn more about a specific point of view: how information, education and communication (IEC) can affect the behavior of injecting drug users (IDUs), emphasizing different kinds of intervention. Those who work (or interested) in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention all know that nowadays the spreading of HIV infection is a growing problem among IDUs, not only in developing countries but in developed countries as well. The result of interventions used mainly in developed countries can be encouraging for IDUs living - for example - in countries in transition, that the risk of HIV infection may be successfully reduced. The authors emphasize that IEC can also be used for the prevention of HIV among injecting drug users, despite the fact that there is not too much evidence for its success. One of the most important things related to this is that IEC by itself cannot "work a miracle" rather combined with other means it would be much more effective. Published materials of this field discuss that the different IEC strategies work mainly on the individual level, so how individual IDUs can change their behavior to reduce the risk of HIV infection. Moreover, when analyzing the IEC approach, people must take into account how the applied intervention works, as well as its result and effectiveness in the programmes. This paper also points out that in case of the prevention of HIV/AIDS three main factors are needed for the achievement of positive and remarkable effects. Most importantly, without good quality information, health services and supportive social background there is little chance that anyone, trying to reach sustainable result in this field would be successful. Regarding the levels of interventions, the authors discuss and distinguish between six types of individual level approaches (mass reach interventions, outreach work, harm minimization, drug cessation/treatment programmes, voluntary and confidential counselling and testing, risk reduction counselling) and two kinds of structural interventions (structural and environmental outreach work). HIV/AIDS related information campaigns are the widely used form of mass reach intervention, however it is difficult to find out whether this kind of intervention is really successful in the prevention of the spread of infection among IDUs. The paper mentions that there are many elements that are needed for a mass reach intervention to be successful: among others the most necessary ones are vocabulary, language, the style in which the IDUs are addressed, not to mention the stressing of short term effects rather than the long term results.

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