Ethics and programmatic issues on the 2003 SARS epidemic: are any lessons transferable to the HIV pandemic?
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The HIV/AIDS pandemic continues to spread globally but much more so in the less industrialised countries of southern and eastern Africa. Despite the difference in aetiology and modes of spread of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), there are certainly some lessons that policy makers can reflect on regarding the global control of the SARS epidemic in 2003. The response to the SARS outbreak garnering the support of every stakeholder than could be mobilized is an example of how emerging infectious diseases could be dealt with. However, the programmatic and ethics issues, although resulting in an effective response were nonetheless controversial in many ways, as the potentially compromised people's rights and autonomy. These issues require further reflection and an assessment as to whether they could be used in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Presented in this paper, are selected HIV and SARS prevention and control activities that can be assessed for potential effectiveness, ethics rating and programmatic challenges. In this article, the similarities in prevention and control are presented, so will the differences.