HIV/AIDS Good News; Cutting The Expenses Two Years Before The UNAIDS 2020 Goal

HIV/AIDS Good News; Cutting The Expenses

In these vignettes we attempt to show case messaging that promotes greater value for money results. The messages are crafted in such a way as to be of greater meaning for organizations willing to cut HIV-related expenses. The audience is NGOs, CBOs, Civil Society and Governments receiving donor money for HIV response. We analyzed thematic articles or cues as well as focused on UNAIDS 90:90:90 by 2020 goal. We hope to use this opportunity to continue the conversation, to continue prompting the necessary energy and resolve to end HIV.

The Substance Use and Abuse Messaging:

Knowledge around how injecting drug users, the use of intoxicating substances is received and processed differently by different people. Those in policy, programming and planning in the Russian Federation would have a different frame of mind from what those in Malawi may have. The Western world may list such practices like vaping, juuling, use of meth, injectable cocaine  and to name but a few. Those in say, Somalia, Somaliland,  Rwanda or South Sudan may talk of alcoholic drinks, nicotine addiction, Khat and jet fume inhalation. The Western world has the wherewithal to conduct research which informs on who is doing what. For instance, it is possible to retrieve material on consequences of vaping among pre-teen and teenagers in the Western world. But, it may be harder to find concrete data on debut into smoking practices or  substance use rituals among pre-teen, teenagers and tweeners in non-Western countries. One reason could be what gets to be prioritized or labeled as an issue or as non-essential. We had various questions posed before us and many of them were around substance use and abuse. Substance use is linked to HIV and one of the reasons springs from the stimulant effects of the potent chemicals. 

Sexual drive is increased by stimulants and this means users will engage in more sex. Chances are that it may also be risky sex in the event one runs out of condoms or lubricant oils. What this means is that at any one time the use of protection or negotiating for safer sex may be impaired. Further research in the case of those who used meth revealed some interesting linkages to HIV transmission. We looked around for various articles which gave clues or satisfied curiosities. One such article is written by Emily Land (2018) and it is titled “A biological reason for higher HIV risk with crystal meth use.” This article is interesting in that it shows the biological explanation as to why some substance are drivers of HIV. Following the use of substances, the skin layers (mucosal layers) covering the mouth, throat, intestines and all soft organs gets inflamed. The mucosal layers in turn produce markers or cells of inflammation (or “cytokines”): interleukin (IL)-1B, interferon-y, macrophage inflammatory protein and peripheral blood T-cell activation. This then lays the stage for HIV to attack the cells produced by inflammation. Substance use messaging must link HIV to mucosal inflammatory cytokines. It must be clear on how transmission takes place, it has to highlight benefits of delaying debut of both sex and drug use. It must cater to those who are sexually active and those who are not. 

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