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1837AIDS in Africa

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  • Bell, Elizabeth
    Nov 8, 2000
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      "Nurse in Malawi Wages War on AIDS and Apathy"
      New York times (www.nytimes.com) (11/07/00) P. A12; Crossette,
      Nurse Catherine Phiri of Malawi contracted HIV during the
      rule of Hastings Kamuzu Banda, who prohibited any public discussion
      of the disease. When a democratic government took over in 1994,
      Phiri founded a support group for anyone affected by HIV, and
      last month, she received a Race Against Poverty Award from the
      United Nations Development Program and UNAIDS. Phiri said the
      new president of Malawi, Bakili Muluzi, has helped increase
      awareness about HIV and AIDS. She also noted that the press is
      now free enough to help show residents the extent of the problem
      in the country, where 25 percent of the urban work force is
      expected to die from AIDS within 10 years. Phiri said, "I hope
      that we will be recognized by being given the award, and that the
      government will now have something to do with us. ... I've been
      writing [the president] proposals that have never been answered."
      The three other recipients of the Race Against Povery Awards were
      Maire Bopp Dupont, a radio journalist who has worked to inform
      Pacific islanders about AIDS; Rita Arauz, a Nicaraguan
      psychologist who set up a foundation to study and deal with HIV
      and other sexually transmitted infections; and the Rev. Arkadiusz
      Nowak, a priest who opened the first AIDS hospice in Poland.

      "AIDS Smothers African Kingdom; Swaziland: AIDS Is Destroying a
      Baltimore Sun (www.sunspot.net) (11/04/00) P. 1A; Murphy, John
      Swaziland, located between South Africa and Mozambique, has
      been ineffective at responding to the AIDS epidemic thus far. The
      latest measures involved parliament banning miniskirts in schools
      to reduce sex between teachers and students. AIDS activists in
      Swaziland struggle against the country's traditions and shame
      surrounding AIDS. Out of a population of 1 million, an estimated
      22 percent are infected with HIV, and 40 percent of all pregnant
      women are HIV-positive. According to Christabel Motsa,
      chairwoman of the government's crisis committee on disease,
      people there are afraid to talk about AIDS and deny that it is a
      problem. Tradition is hard to overcome, as the kingdom is ruled
      by a monarch with seven wives. Polygamy is rampant in rural
      areas, and contraceptives are ignored. King Mswati declared HIV
      a national disaster last year and has urged HIV testing, but
      proposals to place HIV-infected people in camps or sterile them
      highlight the mindset of the kingdom. Without frank talk about
      AIDS, little prevention or treatment can be reached. Motsa is
      worried that her group's five-year plan to fight AIDS will be
      overshadowed by odd suggestions from lawmakers. The nation's
      plan will center on AIDS prevention and education of traditional
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