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Beyond World Aids Day

World AIDS Day is observed on Dec. 1 each year. It was conceived by public-information staff of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and first observed in 1988. In the United States, the President has made an official proclamation of it since 1995. The purpose of the observance is to draw attention to the pandemic spread of HIV/AIDS and encourage efforts to bring the devastating illness under control. It is estimated that AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since 1981 and that 33.2 million people worldwide were living with HIV as of 2007, according to the latest figures available from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

While many people mark the occasion with public gatherings, the observance also presents an excellent opportunity to read, research and reflect long after this one-day event as HIV/AIDS continues to ravage global communities. offers a number of books that can serve as resources for classroom discussions and supplement other texts. Here are some selections from our publishers:

Collaborating with Traditional Healers for HIV Prevention and Care in Sub-Saharan Africa, $13.50 (List price: $15) UNAIDS, December 2006, ISBN 9789291733422, pp. 54.

This book explores ways that health-care workers can collaborate with and build on the work of traditional healers in Africa to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS on the continent most heavily affected by the devastating disease. It offers a “model strategy” for reaching out to and building trust among the healers who wield tremendous influence over their constituents.

Expanding Access to HIV Treatment Through Community-Based Organizations
, UNAIDS, Stylus Publishing, $13.50, (List price: $15), ISBN 9789291734214, July 2005, pp. 57.

This book presents results of a 2004 survey of community groups working to expand access to treatment for those living with HIV and argues for providing support to such groups to continue the work.

Gender and Health, Policy and Practice: A Global Sourcebook, by Anke van der Kwaak and Madeleen Wegelin-Schuringa, $24.44 (List price:  $27.15) ISBN 9780855985714, Stylus/Oxfam Publishing, November 2006, pp. 184.

This book addresses gender-equality concerns in the formulating of health policy and practice, drawing from case studies around the world that demonstrate women’s experiences and needs. Examples come from Malawi, Ethiopia, Argentina, South Africa, Brazil and other countries. They include various perspectives on HIV/AIDS with regard to gender roles.

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