There have been in recent times, three important explosions: the information explosion, the population explosion and the AIDS explosion. The first is good; the second will be taken care of by Mother Nature; it is the third explosion that needs to be muffled. Fortunately, we have the arsenals do so.
The strategies of AIDS prevention are directed against patients suffering from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), commercial sex workers (CSWs), and other high risk persons including men who have sex with men (MSM), injecting drug users (IDU), long-distance truck drivers, street children, prison inmates, and migrant workers. Precautions relating to Hospitals and Blood banks also form part of AIDS prevention.
CSWs are periodically examined for AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases and treated if found positive. They are advised to insist on their clients wearing the condom. All brothels are made “condom use only” brothels. If possible the CSWs are rehabilitated by imparting them training in some craft and helped to land an honorable job.
AIDS prevention for the benefit of high risk persons is by way of educating them about the safe sex practices and about the need for using only disposable syringes for self-administration of drugs.
All STD patients are detected as early as possible after the onset of illness and are treated. They are motivated to practice safe sex so that they do not again fall a prey to the STDs/AIDS.
A measure that helps in AIDS prevention as well as in solving the social problem of homelessness is to provide houses for the migrant laborers. For lack of proper accommodation these laborers are often forced to live in slums where the prevalence of HIV infection is high.
AIDS PREVENTION IN HOSPITALS
Surfaces and materials in the medical institutions are disinfected with bleach solution prepared by adding 10 G of fresh bleaching powder to 250 ml of water.
Blood spills and objects contaminated with blood and body fluids are disinfected with a strong bleach solution made by adding 15 G of bleaching powder to 75 ml of water.
Material soaked with blood/body fluids are first put into a disposal bag that is tied and then put into a second bag whose mouth is then tightly tied, and finally disposed of.
All laboratories are well ventilated. Local exhaust ventilation is provided in the form of fume hoods.
A plan for the control of exposure to blood/body fluids is prepared by the head of the medical institution, printed and circulated to all the staff. Among other details, this plan contains the following: The list of jobs/tasks/duties, where the concerned worker may come into contact with blood or body fluids. The procedure to be health worker should follow, if he spills blood on to his broken skin or if he accidentally pricks his skin with a contaminated needle.
AIDS prevention and Blood Banks
The managers of blood banks are strictly made to take the following precautions:
It is important to dissuade persons, who have the history of multiple sex partners, from donating blood. Finally, blood transfusion has to be done, only if it is absolutely necessary.
By following the AIDS prevention strategy as above, we may not succeed in wiping HIV out, but certainly the current number of 4.5 million new cases of AIDS can be reduced by a sizeable proportion, in the near future.