|HIV Prevention in the Southern Cone (UNAIDS - Best Practice Digest, 2000, 3 p.)|
Summarised from the article Project HIV prevention in injecting drug users in the Southern Cone continues, published in ReLard Convivir Informativo, Boletin de la ReLard, August 2000.
For further information, contact ReLard Secretaria, Av. Campos Sales 59, Vila Mathias, Santos, SP, Brazil, CEP 11013-401. Tel: (55 13) 235 48 52.
In 1997 the development of research and intervention projects to prevent HIV among injecting drug users began in the Southern Cone (Argentina, Chine, Uruguay, Paraguay), with the support of UNAIDS. At the first meeting of the National AIDS Programmes, with Coordinators and NGOs from each of the Southern Cone, it was decided to develop a regional project which was drafted in December 1997 with the assistance of Brazilian experts.
The NGOs involved in the project are: INTERCAMBIOS from Argentina, PROGRAMA CALETA SUR from Chile, PREVER from Paraguay and IDES from Uruguay. The Intercountry Advisor for the Southern Cone from UNAIDS is in charge of regional coordination. The projects strategies are intended to adopt legal instruments which ease prevention activities, sensitize reporters and politicians, promote reference and counter reference social-sanitary networks enabling the IDUs access, promote research and involve communities in interventions.
INTERCAMBIOS IN Argentina continues with localised preventive interventions which include the distribution of syringes and condoms. It is also developing a study on serum prevalence of HIV, hepatitis B, C and HTLV. CALETA SUR in Chile has begun to perform a Rapid Assessment and Response analysis, and activities intended to make the community sensitive to the issue. PREVER in Paraguay is developing interventions in prisons.
IDES in Uruguay began with a qualitative study focused on behaviours and practices of IDUs. It is developing a descriptive study of (private and public) assistance services for drug users in order to determine the number and treatment mode of drug users, especially for those in relation to HIV/AIDS. The population estimates of IDUs and the prevalence and incidence of HIV/AIDS are unknown.
Heath teams are participating in training programmes or will be trained in these four countries as a final element of this regional project.