Home | WHPA Press Releases | Health Professions Speak Out Against the Confusing Messages Regarding HIV/AIDS

World Medical Association [WMA]
International Council of Nurses (ICN)
International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)


Health Professions Speak Out Against
the Confusing Messages Regarding HIV/AIDS


GENEVA, Switzerland, 17 July 2000 ---- Following the 13th International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, the leaders of the world's medical, pharmacist and nursing professions spoke out strongly for unified focus in the search for ways of preventing and treating AIDS. While it was true that some factors such as poverty, malnutrition, drug abuse and other microbes might play an important role in the AIDS epidemic, the global population should not be confused as to the real causes of AIDS.

"AIDS is a sexually transmitted disease, caused by the HIV virus. Period!" were the words of the Secretary General of the World Medical Association, Dr Delon Human. He said that it was unfortunate that political issues had clouded the Durban conference rather than to use this valuable opportunity to recognise AIDS as a global epidemic, where only unified action could offer the world solutions. "As physicians we should not confuse our patients regarding the real causes of AIDS, and how the HIV virus is transmitted. Currently, with no known cure to the disease, we should at least help manage those causes of AIDS where we can make a difference. We should start by advocating responsible and safe sexual practices".

Judith Oulton, Chief Executive Officer of the International Council of Nurses, called for intensified research to help find a cure for the AIDS epidemic. "Health professionals from all the different professions should make a concerted effort to develop a vaccine to stop this horrific disease".

The General Secretary of the International Pharmaceutical Federation, Ton Hoek, was gratified by the increased collaboration between the different health professions, and emphasised the importance of education and health promotion in the fight against AIDS. "Together the health professionals of the world have the unique privilege to educate and promote healthy lifestyles in their role as health care partners to our patients".




The World Health Professions Alliance brings together medicine, nursing and pharmacy through their representative international organisations, International Council of Nurses (ICN), International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and the World Medical Association (WMA) and represents more than 20 million health professionals worldwide.


  • The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation of 125 national nurses' associations representing the millions of nurses worldwide.  Operated by nurses for nurses since 1899, ICN is the international voice of nursing and works to ensure quality care for all and sound health policies globally.

  • The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) is the worldwide federation of national associations of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists. Pharmacists are health care professionals dedicated to improving access to and value of appropriate medicine use worldwide.   

  • The World Medical Association (WMA) is a global federation of national medical associations, representing the millions of physicians worldwide.  Acting on behalf of physicians and patients, the WMA endeavours to achieve the highest possible standards of medical science, education, ethics and health care for all people.


For further information contact Linda Carrier-Walker Tel :  +41 22  908 0100;
fax :   +41 22  908 0101;  email:  ; Web site  www.icn.ch 

ICN/PR/00 #15


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