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1594AIDS in Africa

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  • Bell, Elizabeth
    Aug 10, 2000
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      "Tanzania Declares AIDS National Catastrophe"
      Africa News Service (www.africanews.org) (08/09/00)
      Tanzania's government has declared AIDS a national disaster.
      Given the disease's impact on both the economy and the community,
      Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Mariam Mwaffisi
      announced, "[Nongovernmental organizations], religious groups,
      and other institutions should join in the war against the
      epidemic in order to reduce its spread and mitigate its impact."
      While she did not provide any statistics about AIDS in Tanzania,
      Mwaffisi said Tuesday that she has set up a seminar to help the
      13 registered political parties better understand AIDS and the
      issues surrounding it before the general elections this fall.
      Earlier this year, Vice President Dr. Omari Juma urged various
      religious groups to join the fight against AIDS, and he also
      called on the nation to end customs and traditions that could
      help spread HIV, such as wife inheriting.

      "Liberia Earmarks $6.5 Million for HIV/AIDS Program"
      PANA Wire Service (www.africanews.org/PANA) (08/09/00); Kahler,
      Liberia needs $6.5 million to prevent the spread of AIDS for
      the next three years, and a strategic plan drawn up by participants
      at a recent health workshop said the money should be used for
      advocacy, education, behavioral change, treatment of sexually
      transmitted diseases, and blood safety. Participants at the
      workshop include members of government ministries, United Nations
      agencies, the donor community, and community-based organizations.
      The new plan aims to boost the nation's ability to respond to
      AIDS and also to lower HIV prevalence by 15 percent by 2003.

      "Angola Needs $12 Million to Fight AIDS"
      PANA Wire Service (www.africanews.org/PANA) (08/09/00)
      Angola's deputy health minister, Natalia do Espirito, stated
      at a recent AIDS symposium that the country requires $12 million to
      help fund its national AIDS control program. She said better
      educational campaigns are needed to make people more aware of the
      disease and to change their sexual behaviors. The symposium,
      whose theme was "Fighting AIDS Together," also focused on AIDS in
      the workplace. Statistics show that more than 43,700 cases of
      HIV or AIDS had been reported in Angola as of December 1999.

      "HIV Vaccine Trials Planned for Africa"
      Nature Medicine (medicine.nature.com) (08/00) Vol. 6, No. 8, P.
      844; Birmingham, Karen
      Oxford University immunologist Andrew McMichael announced at
      the recent International AIDS Conference that human testing of the
      gag DNA element of a DNA/modified vaccinia virus prime boost HIV
      vaccine will begin Phase I trials this month in Oxford, England.
      Testing of the vaccinia boost part will begin in September, with
      tests of both parts expected soon after. The vaccine, being
      developed in conjunction with the University of Nairobi, is also
      set to start testing in Kenya later this year. Separately, the
      South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative (SAAVI) continues to work
      on its HIV vaccine--a Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus
      vaccine that could begin human trials in January 2001. SAAVI has
      seven other vaccines in various stages of development. Also, in
      a move that will help further South Africa's vaccine efforts, the
      U.S. National Institutes of Health recently gave the South
      African Medical Research Council $14.7 million over five years
      for AIDS research, with part of the money to be used for testing
      microbicides and the effectiveness of nevirapine in preventing
      HIV transmission by breast-feeding mothers.
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