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40 treatment teams from 20 countries attended PATA 2007 in Manzini, Swaziland, where the focus of the workshop was on TB/HIV, the Adolescent with HIV and Caring for the carer.
PATA Swaziland proceedings
The PATA Swaziland proceedings are now available. Please download here or email firstname.lastname@example.org to have a copy posted to you. Teams attending the 2008 PATA Forum will receive a copy in Rwanda.
"Our patients are poor, but not stupid." That was one of the most important lessons Joia Mukherjee learnt while working in HIV/AIDS affected communities in Haiti.
Since then, as Medical Director for Partners in Health in Uganda, she has, in her uniquely fiery way, imparted this and other knowledge gained from the field to first world audiences and developing countries alike.
The keynote speaker on the opening night of the 2007 PATA Forum, Mukherjee challenged her large audience throughout.
"What you need is an approach that's comprehensive, that says this woman's life counts," she said, emphasising that the fight against HIV/AIDS should never be an isolated one, but an integrated one.
Citing common misconceptions as to how people in developing countries contract the disease, she illustrated how poverty is the biggest single factor, so often overlooked and not integrated with the treatment of AIDS patients.
She told of how "structural violence" in poor communities comes to the surface when women, alone with their children while their husbands work in distant mines or cities, offer sex in exchange for food and security, hence making the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS bigger.
"We are the advocates - nobody else is going to address these issues," she reminded the assembled delegates. "If we don't advocate for somehow getting these children tested, it's not going to happen."
A community based approach to diagnosis, treatment and adherence is essential, she said. The patient's home environment, psychosocial and physical needs must also be taken into account.
Expanding access to care for children infected by HIV and their families throughout the African continent.
For HIV-infected and affected children in Africa to access high quality, comprehensive services including ART by 2015.
lies within compassionate and committed mulidisciplinary treatment teams.
Please click on the following link to access documents and presentations on how best to disclose HIV status to children which were kindly provided to us by Medecins Sans Frontieres.
'SAY AND PLAY'
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