DREAM started countering AIDS in Africa in 2002. A program aimed at making possible and accessible not only antiretroviral therapy, but also the whole complex of measures and factors which could make it effective: health education, nutritional support, advanced diagnostics, staff training, fighting malaria, tuberculosis, opportunistic infections and especially malnutrition.
The practice of prevention itself was made effective through the therapy. Today, there is no longer fear of the test or the anguish of knowing that, before, it represented a declaration of early death: knowledge becomes protection to the patients themselves as well as to others.
When we first started to take the first steps, the dream of bringing the treatment of AIDS in Africa was considered by many to be a utopia, a beautiful project, ambitious but unachievable. Over the years the global interest and funding in the fight against the disease have led to a better chance of diagnosis and treatment in many areas of the world including Africa and the development of new groups of drugs. Today, after more than a decade, thanks to the intervention of DREAM, it is now possible to prevent and treat HIV / AIDS in all African countries.
All are amazed by the impressive success of the program, its rapid spread in Africa and the influence exerted on Governments and international Agencies to alter attitudes towards antiretroviral therapies. Indeed, the results and products achieved have played a role in the World Health Organization by reshaping the therapeutic protocols for Africa.
The effectiveness of the program has been substantiated in the practical application of therapeutic-diagnostic protocols used in the Western world, in Africa with African patients and professionals, many of them trained during the many [tipso tip=”The training of qualified personnel is the safest way to ensure long-term sustainability of the program, through the transfer of the necessary know-how for its management to all local staff. Investing in education means improving the whole health system, the civil society and raising the cultural level of the population. If mothers are made aware of what is good and bad for their children, they become the most formidable weapon to save its life, and we can only imagine what can the education of health professionals do to change the health of entire countries. Patients treated by DREAM, and not only DREAM, in Africa reveal the ability of countries and operators to administer, manage and control a complex therapy, when it was considered too difficult for the continent It is possible to estimate that DREAM over the years, through health education, prevention and awareness courses in the workplaces, in schools, universities, radio, television, managed to reach tens of millions of people. “]courses[/tipso] which are held regularly in those countries where DREAM is present.
It can be said that a large part of the success is due to the original DREAM interpenetration of the scientific component of the academic and practical application.
Measure of this success is the high degree of [tipso tip=”DREAM’s strategy was immediately based on care and treatment in a short time and effectiveness, at an affordable cost, for an excellent quality of care. All in a setting that emphasizes interpersonal and community relationships, where the patient is heard, his dignity defended and having an active participation in learning as well as by contributing with its work to the care process. This has meant that levels of adherence and retention not previously reported by similar nursing programs were reached. It is clear that the percentage of total lost patients is only 3.5%, compared with the 60% of other studies”]retention[/tipso] that is recorded in our program.
Today it is known to all that the therapy has an important preventive component due to its ability to reduce viral load in plasma and in all body fluids, decreasing infectivity. Today our frontier to win the battle against AIDS is Universal Access to treatment, namely treating all AIDS patients to eradicate the disease in the whole population of the continent.