National HIV and Aids prevention programme .jpg

National HIV and Aids prevention programme

NATIONAL CO-ORDINATOR for Aids and HIV prevention, Professor Dr Henrique Barros was in Faro on January 31, to present the National Programme for the Prevention and Control of HIV/Aids for 2007 to 2010.

Its aims are to reduce the number of new cases of HIV and Aids related deaths in Portugal by at least 25 per cent by 2010, as well as reducing the spread of the disease on international levels by providing assistance to the Portuguese speaking African countries in particular.

The public session was organised by the Administração Regional de Saúde do Algarve, the Algarve health authority in the presence of the President of the Algarve Health Authority, Dr Rui Lourenço and Faro Civil Governor, Dr António Pina.

First presented on World Aids Day, December 1, the programme has since been presented at a series of public debates throughout January.

“These sessions have been extremely positive as they have given us direct contact with the people working in the sector. We have been able to listen and clarify many doubts that people do not discuss with each other or are not able to solve,” Barros said.

According to Barros, the development of this programme takes the latest situations into account in three elements. “The first is the opening of decision making and requesting input from civil society and various professionals and sectors at ground level.


The second being that every sector of society has a role to play and has to present its proposals, the third is that there has to be evaluation and monitoring of what is being presented.”

Various actions are planned in order to achieve the programme’s aims and there are 11 priority areas of intervention, including: “the dynamics and causes of the infection, prevention, access to early detection and suitable referral, access to the very latest treatment, continuity of care and support, fight against stigma and discrimination, training, research, monitoring and evaluation.”

Another of the measures outlined in the programme is the promotion of integrated treatment, including education about treatment and access to medicine, continuous training of professionals, stimulate research into Aids in Portugal and encourage the involvement of national scientists and researchers in international teams.

One of the strategies to be developed is to concentrate preventative awareness campaigns and actions on the most vulnerable members of the population such as young people, those linked to prostitution, drug users, immigrants, ethnic minorities, sexual preference minorities and transient populations.

The final document, along with the action plans, monitoring and evaluation proposals for the 2007/2010 programme is due to be presented on March 26.

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