The early response to AIDS in Switzerland: A personal view

Somaini, Bertino
August 2012
Journal of Public Health Policy;Aug2012, Vol. 33 Issue 3, p301
Academic Journal
Switzerland responded quickly to the AIDS epidemic, through cooperation with the most affected groups, explicit education of politicians and the public, and concerted action from health authorities. Important elements of the early response included: a brochure informing every Swiss household about AIDS, its transmission, and the social unity that would be required to deal with it; evaluation showing that the public was learning the facts but behavior of those at risk was not changing; and then a public campaign, STOP AIDS, that continues. Health authorities learned from and worked intensively with groups infected early, and found a continuing challenge in explaining to politicians and the public why the government should support prevention activities for gay men, hemophiliacs, and intravenous drug users. This is a personal perspective from an early, and long-term participant.


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