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AIDS in Africa

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  • Bell, Elizabeth
    U.N. Warns of African AIDS Toll Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (06/28/00) P. A1; Brown, David A new United Nations report warns that AIDS will kill
    Message 1 of 29 , Jun 28, 2000
      "U.N. Warns of African AIDS Toll"
      Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (06/28/00) P. A1; Brown,
      A new United Nations report warns that AIDS will kill up to
      half of the young adults in some countries in southern Africa before
      they reach middle age. AIDS has led to poor economic growth and
      a decrease in life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa, and the
      effects will worsen in the coming years, according to Dr. Peter
      Piot, director of UNAIDS. Last year, 2.8 million people died
      from AIDS, and the report estimated there are now 34.3 million
      people infected with HIV worldwide, including 1.3 million
      children under the age of 15. The report showed mixed results on
      the state of the global AIDS epidemic, citing both the
      devastation in southern Africa but also progress in Senegal and
      Uganda in fighting HIV and the increasing trend of condom use
      among sexually active teenagers in some areas. South Africa, the
      site of 13th International AIDS Conference next month, has about
      4.2 million people living with HIV--more than any other country.
      The highest prevalence of infection is in Botswana, where 36
      percent of adults have contracted HIV. Experts predict that AIDS
      will take the lives of two-thirds of Botswanan 15-year-olds
      before age 50, and they also forecast that in any nation where 15
      percent of adults are now infected with HIV, at least 35 percent
      of teenagers will eventually die from the disease. Some
      encouraging news is that the number of pregnant teenagers with
      HIV has decreased significantly in Lusaka, Zambia, and more young
      Brazilian men are using condoms. In addition, the prevalence of
      HIV in Uganda has dropped from 14 percent to 8 percent. Dr. Piot
      noted that UNAIDS estimated that $1.6 billion to $2.6 billion is
      needed to provide Africa with a "package" that would involve
      limited use of with antiviral drugs to prevent mother-to-child
      HIV transmission, and treatment of tuberculosis and other

      "US Urges Strong Anti-AIDS Efforts After UN Report"
      Reuters (www.reuters.com) (06/27/00)
      The new United Nations report on AIDS has led Sandra Thurman,
      head of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, to call
      for broader efforts to prevent HIV, especially in Africa. The
      success of Uganda in reducing its infection rate could be used in
      other nations, Thurman said. According to Thurman, leadership
      can help end the stigma of AIDS and help disseminate HIV
      prevention information, but cooperation from all sectors is
    • Bell, Elizabeth
      AIDS, Wars Take Toll on Quality of Life in Africa, Report Says USA Today (www.usatoday.com) (06/30/00) P. 16A; Moulson, Geir A new quality-of-life report
      Message 2 of 29 , Jun 30, 2000
        "AIDS, Wars Take Toll on Quality of Life in Africa, Report Says"
        USA Today (www.usatoday.com) (06/30/00) P. 16A; Moulson, Geir
        A new quality-of-life report from the United Nations places
        Canada first and Sierra Leone last. Twenty-four African nations
        remain at the bottom of the 174-country Human Development Index
        due to the AIDS epidemic and constant wars. The United States
        was ranked No. 3; however, the report noted that the United
        States has the highest level of "human poverty"--which factors in
        such conditions as life expectancy, illiteracy, and
        unemployment--than any other industrialized nation. Twenty-two
        countries--mainly those in African and East Europe--have seen
        their human-development ratings decline in the past decade,
        primarily as the result of AIDS and economic problems. The
        report is intended help governments decide how to eradicate
        poverty and improve human rights.

        "WHO Regional Director Urges Faster Response to HIV/AIDS"
        PANA Wire Service (www.africanews.org/PANA) (06/29/00); Masebu,
        The African regional director of the World Health Organization,
        Dr. Ebrahim Malik Samba, has called for better response of health
        systems to the AIDS epidemic. Samba, who spoke Thursday, two
        days after the release of UNAIDS' annual report, said there is a
        need for quicker response to AIDS and more resources to slow the
        spread of HIV. Samba also noted that "the diversity in
        vulnerability of communities and countries to the spread of HIV
        partly explains the differences we see in the evolution of the
        epidemic in different sub-regions of the [African] continent."
        The United Nations official also voiced his support for UNAIDS
        head Dr. Peter Piot's call for debt forgiveness for African
        nations so they can increase their spending on AIDS programs.
      • Bell, Elizabeth
        Advances and Research Directions in the Prevention of Mother-to-Child HIV-1 Transmission Lancet (www.thelancet.com) (06/24/00) Vol. 355, No. 9222, P. 2237;
        Message 3 of 29 , Jul 3, 2000
          "Advances and Research Directions in the Prevention of
          Mother-to-Child HIV-1 Transmission"
          Lancet (www.thelancet.com) (06/24/00) Vol. 355, No. 9222, P.
          2237; Mofenson, Lynne M.; McIntyre, James A.
          Mother-to-child transmission of HIV remains a problem in many
          developing nations, as 90 percent of children infected with HIV
          live in sub-Saharan Africa. The drug zidovudine has shown to be
          effective in reducing perinatal HIV transmission; however,
          developing nations have found the regimen required too expensive
          and complex. These nations also have problems with implementing
          less-expensive, short antiretroviral treatments, due to
          inadequate healthcare, lack of testing programs, and limited
          resources. Breast feeding is also an issue. Non-antiretroviral
          treatments for poor countries are a possibility. Strategies
          researchers are investigating include cleansing the infant and
          mother's birth canal with a virucide, giving nutritional
          supplements, and subclinical chorioamnionitis treatment.
          Caesarean delivery has also shown to significantly reduce the
          risk of perinatal HIV transmission. Countries that cannot afford
          short-course antiviral regimens need continued funding to end
          perinatal infections. Developed countries like the United States
          have had success in reducing transmission of HIV to babies by
          using short-course antiretroviral therapy.

          "Evidence Overwhelming HIV Causes AIDS--Doctors"
          Reuters (www.reuters.com) (07/01/00); Reaney, Patricia
          More than 5,000 scientists, doctors, and medical experts have
          signed the Durban Declaration, which asserts that there is
          significant evidence that HIV causes AIDS. The declaration has
          been made to end controversy in South Africa over the HIV-AIDS
          link. South African President Thabo Mbeki has fueled the
          controversy by asking dissident scientist Peter Duesberg to be on
          a presidential panel charged with investigating the disease.
          Those who signed the declaration wrote that by denying the cause
          of AIDS, countless people will die and vaccine research and
          prevention efforts will be hampered.

          "Writing the Bill for Global AIDS"
          New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (07/02/00) P. 1; McNeil Jr.,
          Donald G.
          A global survey by UNAIDS estimates that more than a third
          of 15-year-olds living in Africa and other severely affected
          countries will die from AIDS. In the United States, AIDS therapy
          focuses on treatment with anti-AIDS drugs. In Africa, India, and
          Haiti, however, funding must focus on prevention instead of
          treatment--which is virtually unaffordable. Third-world nations
          need education and more basic rights to start fighting AIDS with
          drugs, which can cost roughly $12,000 a year per person in the
          United States. Condoms and clean needles will not help most
          Africans, many of whom cannot read and do not use condoms, often
          due to stigma. UNAIDS believes $2 billion is necessary to help
          sub-Saharan Africans prevent HIV infections. This money would be
          used for basic steps--free condoms, blood screening, and
          counseling. There is no money left over for AIDS drugs; funding
          would first go toward cheap antibiotics like Bactrim and
          tuberculosis drugs. With 30 million of the 34 million
          HIV-infected people in the world living on less than $2 a day,
          prevention becomes a priority. Economist Alan Whiteside, who
          studies AIDS in South Africa, would spend $1 billion on educating
          the poor, empowering women, and caring for orphans. It is simply
          not possible to treat all current HIV infections in Africa and
          Asia, where resources are low and clean water and food are hard
          to find.

          "African Children Face AIDS-Blighted Future"
          Reuters (www.reuters.com) (07/02/00); Sithole, Emelia
          In Africa, when family members die of AIDS, it is the children
          who must take over; and often, the eldest child must quit school
          and work to care for the family, or even beg for food. Children
          who are orphaned by AIDS--a total of 13.2 million worldwide, 95
          percent of which live in sub-Saharan Africa--may be sent to
          grandparents or they may turn to the streets. UNICEF states that
          one-sixth of Zambia's orphans are under the age of five and must
          grow up alone, often infected with HIV. Children who live with
          HIV also suffer from discrimination, trauma, and abandonment; and
          without a multi-country commitment to end the epidemic, UNICEF
          warns that the situation will worsen.
        • Bell, Elizabeth
          Free of Apartheid, Divided by Disease Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (07/06/00) P. A1; Jeter, Jon In 1993, the African National Congress (ANC)
          Message 4 of 29 , Jul 10, 2000
            "Free of Apartheid, Divided by Disease"
            Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (07/06/00) P. A1; Jeter,
            In 1993, the African National Congress (ANC) called 50 public
            health experts to a conference in South Africa to form a plan to
            fight AIDS. With the end of apartheid in sight, South Africa had
            hopes for setting a standard in Africa for AIDS prevention.
            However, the AIDS panel did not discuss economic problems that
            help the spread of AIDS, avoiding the issues that most affect the
            spread of the virus. Seven years later, South Africa has failed
            to form a successful plan against AIDS. The country's HIV rate
            has grown to 25 percent of adults. The racial caste system of
            apartheid looms over any attempt to slow AIDS, as blacks continue
            to distrust whites and internal problems hamper AIDS activism.
            The ANC closed clinics run by white doctors because blacks were
            fearful after years of abuse by whites. Morna Cornell, director
            of the AIDS Consortium, calls apartheid a main reason for the
            AIDS program failure. Even so, South Africa is the more prepared
            than any other nation on the continent for the epidemic. In
            1989, the ANC knew of AIDS in surrounding countries, and when
            exiles were allowed to return in 1990, they brought AIDS with
            them. The National Party treated the disease as a stigma for
            the oversexualized black male. Nkosazana Zuma, appointed later
            as the country's first black health minister, led an advisory
            panel that created an AIDS plan for the use of $64 million for
            education, media campaigns, free condoms, and support programs.
            Just $15 million was allocated for the AIDS campaign, and civil
            servants were unprepared to enforce the strategy. Quarraisha
            Abdool Karim, the first national AIDS director of South Africa,
            found that her staff knew nothing of HIV and HIV prevention.
            These HIV programs were abandoned by most communities. In 1997,
            word came that the AIDS advisory panel was dissolved. HIV was
            rarely mentioned by top officials, with President Nelson Mandela
            mentioning it first in late 1997 in Switzerland for the World
            Health Organization. This lack of attention by cabinet ministers
            fueled the denial of an epidemic. While the government has given
            out 140 million condoms, only 10 percent of South Africans
            recently polled said they used one during their last sexual
            encounter. The country's HIV prevalence rate, once less than 1
            percent in 1990, has reached 19.94 percent today. The upcoming
            international AIDS conference in Durban will bring to light these
            problems for the first time on African ground.

            "Africa Can't Just Take a Pill for AIDS"
            New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (07/06/00) P. A27; Goldyn,
            Lawrence Goldyn, a doctor who treats HIV-positive patients,
            writes in an editorial that South African President Thabo Mbeki
            has frustrated AIDS researchers with his decision not to promote
            the use of the drug AZT and his consideration that HIV may not
            cause AIDS. However, in light of the country's poor
            infrastructure, these decisions are rational. South Africa lacks
            the resources and pharmaceuticals to treat its growing
            HIV-infected population. Cocktail drugs cost up to $15,000 a
            year, not affordable for most, and unavailable without the
            social, economic, and medical structures needed to administer
            drug therapies. The complicated treatments for HIV require full
            adherence and stability, and getting South Africans to follow a
            drug schedule could be impossible, based on the past failure of
            tuberculosis treatments. Transmission of HIV to newborns is also
            an issue, but in a country where breast-feeding is the only
            option, the infection rate is 30 percent for infants born to an
            infected mother. The best solution is an AIDS vaccine, but
            without research funds that turn profits, it is years away.
            Mbeki is right to say that the Western way of fighting AIDS will
            not transfer to Africa.

            "Little Hope on Horizon at AIDS Conference"
            Reuters (www.reuters.com) (07/06/00); Fox, Maggie
            The July AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa, bringing
            together 11,000 doctors and activists, will offer no
            breakthroughs for new AIDS treatments, according to Dr. Salim
            Abdool-Karim, leader of the HIV/AIDS Research Unit and chair of
            the 13th International AIDS conference. AIDS continues to spread
            quickly among young people, with 34.3 million people infected
            with HIV worldwide. The conference will include thoughts from
            dissident scientists who do not believe HIV causes AIDS. Talk of
            an AIDS vaccine will continue, but no trial results have shown
            great promise, even in the arena of microbicides.

            "AIDS Poses Huge Threat to African Security"
            Reuters (www.reuters.com) (07/06/00); Stoddard, Ed
            Gareth Newham, a researcher at the Centre for the Study of
            Violence and Reconciliation in South Africa, has found that crime
            and conflict will worsen on the African continent due to the
            rising number of AIDS orphans. South Africa has one of the
            highest violent crime levels in the world, and with so many
            youths left without parents, they will turn to crime to survive.
            AIDS will also lead to joblessness, a major factor in high crime
            rates. Analysts predict that orphaned children will form roving
            gangs as food supplies dwindle due to a reduced workforce.

            "AIDS Groups Plan Drug March at South Africa Conference"
            Reuters (www.reuters.com) (07/05/00); Sithole, Emelia
            The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), a South African AIDS groups
            coalition, announced on Wednesday that hundreds of people will
            march at a global conference on AIDS that is scheduled to be held
            in South Africa on Sunday. The groups will emphasize the need
            for cheaper drugs to fight AIDS, especially in Africa, where the
            disease has reached epidemic proportions. The organizers said
            that offers from drugs companies, including Pfizer's proposal to
            donate diflucan to South African AIDS patients and a drug company
            coalition pitch to reduce AIDS medication prices for poorer
            nations, are much too restrictive to be of any help to the
            continent. The group, which has threatened legal action against
            Pfizer and the South African government if little or nothing is
            done, is demanding that the U.N. programme on AIDS and the
            Southern African Development Community create a plan for
            affordable AIDS drugs by December, that HIV suppressor drugs be
            made available to pregnant women, and that Pfizer immediately
            reduce the price for diflucan.

            "Treating AIDS (Letter)"
            New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (07/06/00) P. A24; Tanguy,
            A letter to the editor from Joelle Tanguy, executive director
            of Doctors Without Borders in the United States, states that AIDS
            treatments must be a priority, with millions of lives at stake.
            Education and prevention programs must be balanced with drug
            therapies to reach patients in Africa and elsewhere.
            Opportunistic infections can be treated, if access to drugs is
            available and affordable. Long-term strategies for cheaper drugs
            is one solution.
          • Bell, Elizabeth
            *************************************************************** PEER-REVIEWED JOURNALS *************************************************************** Is AIDS
            Message 5 of 29 , Jul 10, 2000

              "Is AIDS in Africa a Distinct Disease?"
              Science (www.sciencemag.org) (06/23/00) Vol. 288, No. 5474, P.
              2153; Cohen, Jon
              AIDS in Africa varies from AIDS in the Western world by more than
              a few reasons. South African President Thabo Mbeki has
              questioned if HIV causes AIDS, raising the issue of how the virus
              is mainly spread there by heterosexual sex. HIV has moved
              quickly through Africa, which has several strains throughout the
              continent. Researchers are not sure what causes these
              differences, and if they find out, better treatment strategies
              could be determined. Tuberculosis is the number one AIDS-related
              disease in Africa and is the largest killer of patients. In the
              United States, TB is rare for AIDS patients, but pneumocystis
              carinii pneumonia (PCP) is quite common in HIV-infected people.
              Africans have antibodies to the protozoa for PCP and chiefly
              remain unaffected. James Whitworth of the U.K. Medical Research
              Council believes PCP may be under-diagnosed in Africa, and he
              does not believe that HIV progresses more quickly in Africa.
              Studies from Nairobi show that sex workers develop AIDS about
              five years after HIV infection, but pregnant Nairobi women
              developed it much slower, similar to the United States' rate of
              an average 10 years before AIDS develops. Whitworth's own study
              in Uganda revealed that after eight years of HIV infection, 40
              percent of the people studied had AIDS. HIV has spread so
              rapidly in Africa that researchers have looked to the effects of
              untreated sexually transmitted diseases and overall lack of
              healthcare for answers. They also wonder if Africans are more
              vulnerable to HIV and if the strains in Africa are more
              infectious. Mario Clerici of Milan and Matthew Lukwiya of Lacor
              Hospital compared the immune systems of people living in Gulu,
              Uganda, or Milan. The researchers found that the immune systems
              of those people living in Africa, including those of Italian
              descent, were more active, due to the exposure to more diseases.
              This suggests that regional location may play a role in HIV's
              ability to target CD4 cells.

              GENERAL MEDIA

              "Disease Spread Faster Than the Word"
              Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (07/07/00) P. A1; Vick,
              Andrecus Miruka of Masogo, Kenya, first heard mention of AIDS in
              1990. Once he learned all he could about the disease, he spread
              the knowledge around his community. Staying informed is the only
              way many Africans can fight AIDS, but information about AIDS took
              four years to travel just three miles in Masogo. The Luo, one of
              Kenya's largest tribes, has an HIV infection rate believed to be
              around 70 percent. The people in Masogo know they are isolated
              and were slow to understand AIDS, which is sometimes known as
              chira, an illness caused by breaking traditions. Miruka shared
              his knowledge of AIDS with people mostly at funerals. A British
              agency called Futures Group International works with Kenya's
              Ministry of Health to train volunteers to be community health
              workers. These workers stress the need to end wife-sharing of a
              widow and to use condoms. The Ministry of Health, which relies
              on foreign aid, has few resources or means to reach the people.
              Rural Africans do not talk about sex, and the conservative nature
              of their lives has added to the stigma associated with AIDS.
              Many do not know the risk factors of AIDS since sex is rarely
              discussed in detail. Miruka's son Bernard learned about the risk
              factors for AIDS but kept them private because of others' belief
              in chira and their unwillingness to discuss sex. The silence in
              Kenya, compounded with other risk factors, led to increased
              potential for sexually transmitted diseases. However, the Luo
              people did not believe HIV was present until AIDS developed.
              When people started dying in late 1999 and this year, the public
              burials brought long-needed attention to the epidemic. As more
              people became informed, more questions rose about how to prevent
              infections. Some prostitutes thought that by offering anal sex
              they were safe from AIDS. One success story has been Uganda,
              which has reduced its rate of new HIV infections. The health
              minister in Masogo learned about AIDS in September 1998 and
              trains health workers now. However, Kenyan schools do not teach
              about AIDS, and if so, it is only a brief mention. Sex education
              traditionally takes place in the home, but the message of condom
              use is not reaching young males. Men like Eric Owino, age 23,
              say condoms are not reliable and that women oppose using them.
              Kenya still has a long way to go to educate the people about STDs
              and prophylactics.

              "A Call for Fair Access to Future AIDS Vaccine"
              New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (07/07/00) P. A9; Altman,
              Lawrence K.
              The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, a research consortium
              funded by government and private grants, announced that steps to
              offer simultaneous access to an AIDS vaccine to rich and poor
              countries should be created now, even though a vaccine to prevent
              AIDS is still many years away. Vaccine Initiative President Seth
              Berkley suggested that steps be taken now in order to avoid
              problems similar to those caused by the limited availability of
              HIV drugs in sub-Saharan countries and delays seen in the
              eradication of diseases like polio in developing countries. Two
              vaccines--Aventis Pasteur's Alvac canary pox vaccine and a
              vaccine that integrates both the Alvac vaccine and one prepared
              from a molecular component of the surface of HIV--are currently
              in phase II clinical trials, while VaxGen's vaccine has entered
              phase III trials, although data from that trial are not expected
              until 2002 at the earliest. Biotech concern Chiron is also
              working on a vaccine.

              "South Africa HIV Testing Plans Undermine Prevention"
              Reuters (www.reuters.com) (07/06/00); Sithole, Emelia
              South African AIDS activists oppose their president's decision
              for a panel to study the experimental HIV ELISA test, claiming
              that it will hamper efforts to stop the spread of AIDS. Mark
              Heywood, head of the AIDS Law Project, believes the presidential
              advisory panel is sending confusing messages by focusing
              attention outside of the need for HIV screening. Heywood
              emphasized that a large problem in South Africa is that few
              people are tested for HIV, and the new studies will undermine
              awareness efforts. Morna Cornell, director of the AIDS
              Consortium, called research into the ELISA test a waste of time.

              "AIDS in Angola Means Stigma, Death"
              Reuters (www.reuters.com) (07/06/00); McClelland, Colin
              In Angola, a country plagued by civil war since the 1960s, AIDS
              means death, according to Dr. Marilia Afonso of the Josina Machel
              Hospital in Luanda. Afonso can treat patients only for
              opportunistic infections like tuberculosis, candida and herpes.
              Antiviral drugs for HIV are too expensive, and the majority of
              the 13 million Angolans live in poverty. In this country, AIDS
              carries such a stigma that few will acknowledge and seek
              treatment for the disease, making it a much quicker fatal
              infection than for those who treat their illness.

              "Bristol-Myers Finds Pledging AIDS Aid Is Easier Than Giving It"
              Wall Street Journal (07/07/00) P. A1; Waldholz, Michael
              Bristol-Myers Squibb's 1999 announcement of a five-year $100
              million donation to Botswana and four other African countries
              appeared at the time to be a much-needed boost to the ailing
              nations in their losing battle against HIV and AIDS, but
              activists and African humanitarian workers in the region are
              discovering that the funding is not easy to use because of
              restrictions and regulations put in the way seemingly at random
              by Bristol-Myers. Bristol-Myers executives' complaints that the
              difficulties are frustrating to them demonstrates the cultural
              differences between Western corporations and African nations,
              where Bristol-Myers has little understanding and less experience
              and is working at odds with the region's AIDS goal of preventing
              future illness, not treating those already very ill.
              Bristol-Myers was surprised in the early stages of the
              philanthropy by the low quality of grant proposals, but activists
              note that writing skills are reserved for the elite few in
              Africa, and those interested in helping the poor and sick often
              have little formal education and less experience with the
              bureaucratic processes common to Western organizations, as grant
              competition is unknown in Africa. The drugs company placed the
              restrictions on its donations, such as requiring strict record
              maintenance, denying the purchase of furniture or the rental of
              office space, and limiting the hiring of multiple employees, to
              prevent notoriously corrupt African governments from using the
              funding for purposes other than AIDS relief; however, these
              restrictions have essentially prevented small nonprofit
              organizations in Botswana from performing the relief work despite
              donations as large as $400,000.

              "AIDS Counseling for Peacekeepers Urged"
              Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (07/07/00) P. A18;
              Lynch, Colum
              The United States has proposed a measure to the U.N. Security
              Council that urges all United Nations peacekeepers to counsel
              troops on sexually transmitted diseases and to track AIDS among
              soldiers. The resolution reiterates the fact that AIDS is
              considered a threat to security and peace in Africa and abroad.
              U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke said the
              measure has support but no vote is pending. The resolution does
              not call for mandatory HIV testing due to its cost. However,
              AIDS prevention training would be given to 35,000 peacekeepers
              worldwide. Holbrooke realized that U.N. peacekeepers may be at
              risk for AIDS when in 1992 he saw Cambodian soldiers visiting
              brothels at night. David Wimhurst, a spokesman for the United
              Nations, said there is no AIDS crisis among the peacekeepers and
              that condoms had been given to soldiers in Sierra Leone.

              "Pfizer Plans to Start Free-Diflucan Project in South Africa in
              Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) (07/06/00) P. B12
              Pfizer has announced that it will initiate its program to offer
              supplies of cryptococcal meningitis drug Diflucan at no charge to
              South African patients with AIDS this fall. Pfizer belives that
              up to 100,000 cases of crytococcal meningitis, a brain infection
              that occurs in roughly one in 10 patients with AIDS, causing
              death, can be treated under the program. Although South African
              health ministry officials stated in June that they may ignore the
              offer considering that the program included too many
              restrictions, South African Minister of Health Manto
              Tshabalala-Msimang has expressed her complete support of the
              program. Pfizer intends to expand the program to other areas,
              including Asia, Latin American, and other parts of Africa.
            • Bell, Elizabeth
              there are not many true heroes in this world, but jonathan mann was one. bless him. **************************************************************** GENERAL
              Message 6 of 29 , Jul 10, 2000
                there are not many true heroes in this world, but jonathan mann was one.

                bless him.

                GENERAL MEDIA

                "World Shunned Signs of the Coming Plague"
                Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (07/05/00) P. A1;
                Gellman, Barton
                A CIA document called Interagency Intelligence Memorandum
                91-10005 entitled "The Global AIDS Disaster" predicted in 1991
                the AIDS epidemic seen today. The report was largely ignored and
                seen with indifference, according to author Kenneth Brown. This
                year, the Clinton administration, Congress, and the United
                Nations have recommitted to fighting AIDS, stating that the total
                effects of the epidemic are finally known. The World Health
                Organization (WHO) had predicted a death toll of tens of millions
                in 1990, yet few groups reacted to the warning. William Foege,
                director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
                until 1983, stated that the United States spent $3 billion a year
                on healthcare in the early 1980s, but AIDS was left out of any
                funding. New cases of HIV have not peaked, as the death toll
                doubles each year in many African countries. Sandra Thurman,
                director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy,
                stated that "we are at the beginning of a pandemic, not the
                middle, not the end." Yet the 1991 CIA report shed light on what
                was to come in the epidemic. Since HIV was named, the virus has
                infected 53 million and AIDS has reversed economic and social
                growth in many areas worldwide. Some members of the National
                Intelligence Council did not see AIDS as a threat to any nations
                outside of Africa, and even felt that the illness would allow
                soldiers to advance more easily in those countries affected by
                it. There was little response to the CIA document for years, and
                a budget for AIDS control of $124.5 million that was created that
                year not increase for seven years, a period during which over 17
                million people contracted HIV. Jonathan Mann was a researcher who
                went to Kinshasa to study the HIV cases. He was tireless in
                attempting to persuade officials that AIDS was a monumental
                problem. However, WHO director Halfdan Mahler wanted to focus on
                what he considered were more important diseases at the time.
                Mann continued to argue that AIDS had several important factors
                associated with it--poverty, oppression, and social violence,
                requiring non-medical solutions. Mahler became convinced of the
                seriousness of the pandemic and made Mann director of a special
                program on AIDS. When Mahler was replaced by Hiroshi Nakajima,
                Mann was cited for spending too much time on a few cases and his
                resources were cut. A dispute over quotes by Nakajima in an
                interview led to the loss of Mann's budget requests and quitting.
                For years, the CDC and U.S. Agency for International Development
                did not pay for AIDS tests abroad, so millions did not know they
                were HIV-positive. USAID did not want to create mandatory
                funding for AIDS programs. Once drug therapies like AZT
                developed in the mid-1990s, hope was restored and increased
                funding was discussed among wealthy nations like the United
                States. A joint U.N. AIDS program was finally created in 1996,
                but cosponsors argued over loans and spending for months. In
                1999, AIDS became the leading killer in Africa, a fact never
                mentioned in the 1999 World Health Report. This year brought
                increased attention to AIDS after it was declared a national
                security threat in the United States. Today the Clinton
                administration has granted $200 million to global AIDS
                prevention, as African governments must address sex, injection
                drug use, and taboos that create a stigma against AIDS patients.
                Plans are underway for a multibillion-dollar program for southern
                Africa to educate, counsel, and help treat patients with sexually
                transmitted diseases besides AIDS.

                "South Africa AIDS Panel to Validate HIV Tests"
                Reuters (www.reuters.com) (07/04/00); Sithole, Emelia
                International experts meeting with South Africa President
                Thabo Mbeki will conduct studies on the reliability of the ELISA
                HIV test. Harvey Bialy of the Autonomous National University of
                Mexico is a member of the group, along with Helene Gayle of the
                Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A report by UNAIDS
                has raised questions about the accuracy of the HIV tests. The
                team of three scientists will focus on the ELISA and on helping
                South Africa gather reliable data to use for prevention planning.
              • Bell, Elizabeth
                *************************************************************** PEER-REVIEWED JOURNALS ***************************************************************
                Message 7 of 29 , Jul 11, 2000
                  PEER-REVIEWED JOURNALS

                  "Preventing Infections With Today's Tools"
                  Science (www.sciencemag.org) (06/23/00) Vol. 288, No. 5474, P.
                  2161; Cohen, Jon
                  Without an AIDS vaccine, Africa must rely on other HIV prevention
                  methods. Frank Plummer of the University of Manitoba's research
                  program in Kenya recommends six interventions, including bottle
                  feeding babies and male circumcision. However, implementing
                  these behaviors and educating the public is difficult, and has
                  been slow. Plummer's team has worked with sex workers in Nairobi
                  to show that intervention can help the most at-risk groups. A
                  1991 study by Plummer and colleagues found that peer education,
                  HIV testing, counseling, and sexually transmitted disease (STD)
                  treatments can prevent up to 10,000 new HIV cases a year.
                  Stephen Moses and Plummer also discovered that male circumcision
                  lowers the risk of HIV, but cultural differences keeps many from
                  choosing the option. Two conflicting studies address the
                  relationship between sexually transmitted diseases and the risk
                  of HIV. A 1995 study from Tanzania found that people treated for
                  STDs had fewer HIV infections. However, a Ugandan study found no
                  relationship between STD treatment and HIV rates. Scientists
                  agree that treating STDs is necessary for good health, but more
                  active preventions are needed to stop HIV.

                  "Africa Boosts AIDS Vaccine R&D"
                  Science (www.sciencemag.org) (06/23/00) Vol. 288, No. 5474, P.
                  2165; Cohen, Jon
                  In Hlabisa, in the Kwazulu-Natal Province of Africa, almost 40
                  percent of pregnant women have HIV; just 10 years ago, none
                  tested positive. Hlabisa has become a prime spot to test HIV
                  vaccines, including those in development by the International
                  AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), led by Seth Berkley. IAVI has
                  granted $4.5 million for the next three years to test vaccines in
                  South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda. Ethical standards require that
                  testing these vaccines is conducted with volunteers who
                  understand the risks and how to avoid infection. This is
                  difficult in a poorly educated land that has low-income citizens.
                  Guidelines for AIDS vaccine tests mandate that testers not take
                  advantage of vulnerable populations. The Council for
                  International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) calls for
                  "equitable distribution" of a successful vaccine at an affordable
                  price. Peggy Johnston of the NIH's AIDS vaccine program believes
                  these requirements will not be enough to allow community access
                  to a vaccine. Researchers have not yet found a perfect vaccine,
                  but even a 60 percent effective vaccine will save twice as many
                  lives if created today rather than in a few years. A study of
                  sex workers outside Nairobi, Kenya, has led to some startling
                  results. They show that certain prostitutes who are repeatedly
                  exposed to HIV have no sign of infection. A woman named Agnes
                  Monifa has sex up to 10 times a day and remains uninfected,
                  perhaps due to her white blood cells' power. Discouraging news
                  came near the end of the trial when 10 of the 80 uninfected sex
                  workers contracted HIV after stopping sexual behavior. This
                  means that natural immunity may be caused by repeated stimulation
                  from HIV, a difficult behavior to copy in a vaccine. A vaccine
                  is needed to treat strains other than subtype B, which is common
                  in Europe and the United States. Seth Berkley knows that a
                  vaccine would be embraced by the people of Hlabisa if only one
                  can reach final testing phases.

                  GENERAL MEDIA

                  "AIDS in Africa Is Reshaping Whole Populations, Study Says"
                  USA Today (www.usatoday.com) (07/11/00) P. 1A; Sternberg, Steve
                  A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that the AIDS
                  epidemic will significantly affect life expectancy in Africa over
                  the coming years. By the year 2010, study author Karen Stanecki
                  concluded, life expectancy will be 29 in Botswana, 30 in
                  Swaziland, and 33 in Namibia and Zimbabwe. Life expectancy would
                  have been about 70 without AIDS. Stanecki also noted there would
                  negative population growth in Botswana, South Africa, and
                  Zimbabwe, versus 2 percent to 3 percent population growth in each
                  of those nations without AIDS. The study suggested that AIDS
                  will affect entire populations, take the lives of whole
                  communities, and could spur the migration of many men to seek
                  available women. The Centers for Disease Control and
                  Prevention's Kevin DeCock stated that the AIDS epidemic is
                  "Africa's worst social catastrophe since slavery."

                  "Circumcision Debated in Control of AIDS"
                  Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (07/11/00) P. A17;
                  Brown, David
                  Research presented at the 13th International AIDS Conference
                  in Durban, South Africa, on Monday discussed the relationship
                  between male circumcision and HIV infection. Several studies
                  have shown that uncircumcised men are two to eight times more
                  likely to be infected with HIV than circumcised men. Daniel T.
                  Halperin, an AIDS researcher at the University of California at
                  San Francisco, noted that even if the low numbers in those
                  studies are correct, almost 50 percent of the infections in men
                  in some high-prevalence nations could be "attributable" to not
                  being circumcised. However, data from a study of men in the
                  Rakai District of Uganda suggests that such conclusions can be
                  complicated. A total of 17 percent of the men in Rakai are
                  circumcised, with a 99 percent rate among Muslims and a 4 percent
                  rate among non-Muslims. While the overall infection rate among
                  circumcised men is about half that of the uncircumcised men, in
                  the subgroup of circumcised non-Muslims, there is little effect
                  on risk. The results indicate that religion could be a
                  protective factor, perhaps because Muslim men may have fewer
                  casual sex partners since they can have more than one wife, or
                  because religious instruction emphasizes frequent washing, which
                  could reduce viral transmission.

                  "Vaccine Targeting HIV in Africa to Begin Human Tests This
                  Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) (07/11/00) P. B1; Waldholz,
                  Researchers are expected to announce today details of HIV
                  vaccine trials set to begin later this summer. First, 18 healthy
                  volunteers in Britain will be used to test the safety of the
                  vaccine and to determine whether it can generate the kind of
                  immune system response that has helped to protect a small group
                  of Kenyan women from HIV infection. The vaccine, developed by
                  researchers from Oxford University and the University of Nairobi
                  with funding from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, is
                  designed to fight an HIV strain that is common in Africa.
                  According to the researchers, the vaccine is made up of genetic
                  material that prompted a T-cell response in animal tests and
                  which is attached to a weakened version of an animal virus; it
                  also includes a gene removed from HIV that is thought to generate
                  a killer T-cell response.

                  "Cheap Antibiotics Seen Helping HIV Patients"
                  Reuters (www.reuters.com) (07/11/00); Fox, Maggie
                  Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
                  have concluded that inexpensive antibiotics may be useful in
                  preventing HIV-infected individuals in Africa from developing
                  AIDS, even if access to potent antiretroviral therapy is limited.
                  Led by Dr. Mark Dworkin, the researchers tested the antibiotic
                  trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole--which is used in the United
                  States to preventing Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP)--and
                  found that it was effective against a number of diseases. The
                  researchers noted that while the cheap drug did not affect
                  viruses and could not control HIV, it was effective against
                  several opportunistic infections that affect HIV patients. The
                  drug, sold under the names of Bactrim and Septra, lowered the
                  risk of PCP by 40 percent, of toxoplasmosis by 30 percent, and of
                  salmonella by 60 percent.

                  "Africa Reacts Coolly to German AIDS Drug Offer"
                  Reuters (www.reuters.com) (07/08/00); Sithole, Emelia
                  Boehringer Ingelheim's announcement that it would provide
                  its Viramune AIDS drug at no charge for five years was met with
                  wariness from Southern Africa Development Community health
                  ministers, who are worried about the terms of the agreement since
                  they were not consulted on the offer. Based on data from a study
                  published in the medical journal The Lancet, up to 110,000 HIV
                  infections of newborns caused by mother-to-child transmission
                  could be prevented in the next five years if all pregnant women
                  in South Africa alone received treatment. The international
                  medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres noted that while
                  manufacturers are likely to make such announcements at the world
                  AIDS conference, more action is required. Other concerns remain,
                  including the fact that the drug has not yet been approved in
                  South Africa, although results of a study of the drug in South
                  Africa and Uganda are slated for release at the Durban
                  conference, and the fact that benefits of the drug become negated
                  if the infected mother breast-feeds the infant, a common practice
                  in South Africa.

                  The PreventioNews Mailing List is maintained by the National
                  Prevention Network (NPIN), part of the Centers for Disease
                  Control and Prevention's National Center for HIV, STD, and TB
                  Prevention. Regular postings include the Prevention News
                  Update, conference announcements, current funding opportunities,
                  select articles from the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
                  series, and announcements about new NPIN products and services.

                  To subscribe to the mailing list, send a blank message to
                  preventionews-subscribe@.... To remove your name from
                  the mailing list, send a blank message to

                  Back issues of the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update can be
                  found at ftp://ftp.cdcnpin.org/PrevNews. You can search for
                  back issues in the Prevention News Update Database at

                  Please send all e-mail inquiries to info@....

                  **This message may be copied and distributed; however, it may not
                  be distributed for profit.**
                • Bell, Elizabeth
                  **************************************************************** GENERAL MEDIA **************************************************************** Intermittent
                  Message 8 of 29 , Jul 12, 2000
                    GENERAL MEDIA

                    "Intermittent Drug Therapy for AIDS Is Tested"
                    New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (07/12/00) P. A11; Altman,
                    Lawrence K.
                    As scientists continue to scramble for ways to improve patient
                    reactions to AIDS drugs, a prominent U.S. government researcher
                    revealed at the 13th International AIDS conference in Durban,
                    South Africa, that giving AIDS patients breaks in their difficult
                    combination medication regimens not only reduces the occurrence
                    of side effects, but helps the body to fight the virus on its
                    own. The news raises hopes in the battle against AIDS, as
                    regulatory bodies like the Centers for Disease Control and
                    Prevention are concerned that combination therapies may only be
                    effective for a limited time as the virus adapts to resist the
                    drugs. The practice of extending life expectancies with planned
                    medication breaks is currently in about 10 different trials in
                    the United States and Europe, basing the length of the
                    interruptions on HIV viral loads in the bloodstream. So far,
                    those stopping their drug regimens for as long as a month have
                    experienced increased HIV levels, but have pushed their viral
                    loads back down to unmeasurable levels after re-starting therapy.
                    Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergy
                    and Infectious Diseases, hopes that the studies will lead to a
                    better understanding of AIDS drugs and their effects, permitting
                    patients to halt their regimens for as long as six or eight
                    months at a time, though he cautions that the cyclical break
                    system is not a cure by any means.

                    "Sparks Fly at AIDS Meeting Over Breast-Feeding"
                    Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) (07/12/00) P. B2; Waldholz,
                    Participants at the 13th International AIDS Conference in Durban,
                    South Africa, are debating the issue of whether a simple and
                    inexpensive drug treatment can help prevent millions of pregnant
                    women with HIV from transmitting the virus to their children.
                    Results from a number of clinical studies reportedly show that
                    giving one of several AIDS drugs to HIV-infected pregnant women
                    during labor and then to their infants just after birth can
                    substantially lower at birth the risk of HIV transmission.
                    However, some of the data, which is to be presented on Thursday,
                    indicates that the treatment strategy is affected if the
                    mothers breast-feed their children and transmit the virus via
                    their breast milk. While some experts note that because most
                    women in Africa breast-feed their children, making the drug
                    therapy less effective than expected, other conference
                    participants have suggested that African women be urged to
                    bottle-feed, reviving a decades-old debate about nursing versus
                    bottle-feeding. Thirty years ago, many experts claimed that
                    infant-formula makers got many women to depend heavily on baby
                    formula and that the babies were at risk because some of the
                    women used contaminated water or diluted the product. The issue
                    has been resurrected, however, with the advent of HIV. Although
                    University of California at San Diego researcher Stephen Spector
                    said, "The evidence strongly suggest we should now be
                    aggressively promoting the use of infant formula for infected
                    mothers who have been treated" with AIDS drugs, Dr. Hoosen M.
                    Coovadia of King Edward Hospital in Durban pointed out that many
                    women cannot afford formula and some will not bottle-feed for
                    fear of being identified as infected with HIV.

                    "Young People Found Uninformed on AIDS"
                    New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (07/12/00) P. A11
                    The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has found that
                    many young people in developing nations, particularly girls, do not
                    know much about HIV transmission and AIDS. According to the
                    group's study of 34 countries, more than 50 percent of the 15- to
                    19-year-old girls in about half of the nations surveyed said that
                    they did not know an AIDS patient could appear healthy; that
                    number soared to 80 percent or higher in Chad, Niger, and Nepal.
                    "This knowledge gap is one important element in understanding the
                    higher HIV infection rate among girls in many countries," the
                    report noted. The UNICEF survey, which is part of the agency's
                    annual Progress of Nations report, also found that in Haiti,
                    Zambia, and Zimbabwe, more than 50 percent of sexually active
                    girls did not consider themselves in danger of HIV infection.

                    "Lilly Will Donate Drugs to Battle Tuberculosis"
                    Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) (07/12/00) P. A3; Zimmerman,
                    In what will be the first joint initiative between the public
                    and private sectors to focus drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB), Eli
                    Lilly is in discussion with the World Health Organization,
                    Medecins Sans Frontieres, and Jacobus Pharmaceuticals to provide
                    free supplies of its high-priced antibiotics. A deal should be
                    announced within weeks, with Lilly expected to donate an unknown
                    quantity of two expensive anti-TB drugs, capreomycin and
                    cycloserine, and to sell an additional amount at market price.
                    TB, the leading cause of death from a single infectious disease
                    worldwide, was nearly eliminated in the 1940s; however,
                    drug-resistant strains have surfaced, particularly in the Russian
                    prison system, and could become a serious global health threat if
                    allowed to remain unchecked. Negotiators believe that the drugs
                    will initially be used in a campaign to treat 1,000 Russian
                    prisoners and civilians and may eventually expand to other parts
                    of Russia, Latvia, Estonia, Peru, the Philippines, Morocco,
                    Chile, and other regions where multidrug-resistant TB strains

                    "Tests Offer New Hope on AIDS in Africa"
                    Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (07/12/00) P. A1; Brown,
                    Three studies presented at the 13th International AIDS
                    Conference in Durban on Tuesday suggested that combination AIDS
                    drug therapies, which are currently available only in the world's
                    wealthy nations, may be useful for infected groups in many parts
                    of the Third World. While top AIDS experts have said that the
                    drug regimens require too much logistical support for basic
                    health systems in poor regions, the studies demonstrated
                    successes in giving the drug cocktails in the Ivory Coast,
                    Senegal, and Ugandan capitals. The studies were fairly
                    small--involving less than 1,000 people--but they indicated the
                    logistical problems could be overcome in some situations. For
                    the Ugandan study, 350 individuals were give single or double
                    drug therapies at a cost of about $250 a month. Fifteen months
                    later, more than half were still taking the drugs. A similar
                    study in Ivory Coast involving 422 people found that after a year
                    and a half, 71 percent of the patients were still taking the
                    cocktail therapies. Nearly 90 percent of the 75 patients in a
                    home-grown study in Senegal were still enrolled two years into
                    the research. The researchers noted that mortality was fairly
                    high in the three programs, since most of the patients had
                    advanced AIDS when the study began, and full virus suppression
                    was rare, since many of the individuals were receiving two drugs
                    instead of three.

                    "U.S. Researcher Criticizes Mbeki for Backing 'Dissidents' on
                    Washington Times (www.washtimes.com) (07/12/00) P. A18;
                    Swindells, Steven
                    Dr. David Ho, head of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in
                    New York City, criticized South African President Thabo Mbeki on
                    Tuesday for questioning whether HIV is the cause of AIDS. In a
                    speech at the 13th International AIDS Conference in Durban, Ho
                    said, "President Mbeki, I beg you not to let your legacy be
                    defined by inaction on this human tragedy." Ho stated that HIV
                    is the cause of AIDS and showed a microscope photograph of the
                    virus attacking a cell to reinforce his point. Mbeki's attitude
                    regarding the cause of AIDS has sparked controversy and protests
                    that have overshadowed much of the new research being presented
                    at the conference. Also, at the conference center on Tuesday,
                    activists called on the World Health Organization to add
                    anti-AIDS drugs to its list of essential drugs. Providing drugs
                    to at least 12 million HIV-infected individuals worldwide would
                    cost about $60 billion annually, according to the London-based
                    Panos Institute.
                  • Bell, Elizabeth
                    *************************************************************** PEER-REVIEWED JOURNALS *************************************************************** The
                    Message 9 of 29 , Jul 13, 2000
                      PEER-REVIEWED JOURNALS

                      "The Durban Declaration"
                      Nature (www.nature.com) (07/06/00) Vol. 406, No. 6791, P. 15
                      The Durban Declaration, which was signed by over 5,000
                      researchers and experts, is a document developed in response to
                      the controversy in South Africa about whether HIV is the cause of
                      AIDS. The declaration states that there is definitive,
                      scientific proof that AIDS is caused by HIV-1 or HIV-2. The
                      paper lists several criteria to support its point, including the
                      fact that all AIDS patients, no matter where they live, are
                      infected with HIV. The authors write that while there are
                      different patterns of HIV and AIDS throughout the world and that
                      a variety of factors help determine the risk of disease,
                      scientific evidence still clearly shows that HIV is the sole
                      cause of AIDS. "Prevention of HIV infection must be our greatest
                      worldwide public-health priority," the declaration asserts, also
                      calling for new drug treatments that are easier to take, have
                      fewer adverse reactions, and which cost less, so more people can

                      GENERAL MEDIA

                      "Hopes for Anti-H.I.V. Treatment Dashed"
                      New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (07/13/00) P. A6; Altman,
                      Lawrence K.
                      A UNAIDS study presented at the 13th International AIDS
                      Conference in Durban, South Africa, revealed that of nearly 1,000
                      HIV-negative prostitutes in Africa and Thailand, those using the
                      nonoxynol-9 gel were more likely to contract HIV than those using
                      a placebo gel. UNAIDS officials said that 59 infections were
                      discovered in the spermicidal group, while just 41 infections
                      were noted within the placebo group. The Centers for Disease
                      Control and Prevention's Dr. Ann Duerr notes that for people at
                      high risk for HIV infection, "condoms with or without nonoxynol-9
                      should be used." Duerr said that the implications of the UNAIDS
                      study's findings for the low levels of nonoxynol-9 on lubricated
                      condoms are not certain. As a result of the study, the CDC has
                      halted planned research among women at high risk for HIV in Los
                      Angeles and Miami.

                      "AIDS Spurs a Crisis of Orphanhood Across Africa"
                      Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (07/13/00) P. A18;
                      Brown, David
                      A survey conducted by the U.S. government suggests that the
                      AIDS crisis will create an epidemic of orphanhood in Africa for at
                      least a generation, as by 2010 one in seven children under the
                      age of 15 years in sub-Saharan Africa will have lost at least one
                      parent. The study, to be presented by the U.S. Agency for
                      International Development (USAID) today, remarks that this group
                      of orphans is not typical; most orphaned groups are left without
                      a parent by a catastrophe such as war, genocide, or natural
                      disaster. Ten years ago, just one-fifth of the orphaned children
                      in sub-Saharan Africa were that way because of AIDS. Today,
                      however, nearly half of all orphan cases are caused by AIDS, and
                      a decade from now 70 percent of orphaned children will have lost
                      a parent to AIDS. The agency estimates that 44 million
                      sub-Saharan children have lost their fathers, with most of them
                      to AIDS-related deaths. The eventual toll on the continent is
                      difficult to predict, according to the report, as many of the
                      factors that arise from losing a parent are subtle and affect
                      children in various ways. Orphaned children also cost about
                      $2,000 per year to raise, a total that is tremendously high in
                      the poor nations of southern Africa. While most orphan studies
                      concerning AIDS deaths concern themselves with children who lose
                      both parents or a mother, the USAID study also included the
                      factor of losing a father--an important aspect considering that
                      men are often the only working members of the family in Africa,
                      and especially in southern Africa, where the AIDS epidemic is at
                      its worst.

                      "HIV a Crisis for Third World Children"
                      Washington Times (www.washtimes.com) (07/13/00) P. A13; Nessman,
                      The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) revealed on Wednesday
                      in its Progress of Nations report that the AIDS crisis and its
                      effects on children have been underestimated, as millions have
                      lost parents and hundreds of thousands have lost teachers to
                      AIDS, reducing their chances for both a normal home life and a
                      good education. In addition, many children in developing
                      countries do not know ways to protect themselves from contracting
                      HIV; for instance, almost 75 percent of Mozambique girls and 62
                      percent of boys between the ages of 15 years and 19 years do not
                      know one way to prevent infection. The difference is alarming,
                      because women face a higher risk of contracting HIV than men, and
                      reports indicate that girls between the ages of 15 years and 19
                      years believe they are not at risk for the disease. In addition,
                      sub-Saharan Africa has witnessed the deaths of teachers for
                      approximately 860,000 schoolchildren. However, there are a
                      number of small prevention programs in African nations that
                      suggest the situation is not hopeless, though they are difficult
                      to monitor given their size and budgets. The total budgets for
                      AIDS programs in developing countries is just $600 million, as
                      compared with the United States domestic AIDS prevention budget
                      of $800 million and assistance programs for other countries
                      budgeted at $7 billion.

                      "African Nations Studying Generic AIDS Drugs"
                      Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) (07/13/00) P. A3; Waldholz,
                      In private meetings at the 13th International AIDS Conference in
                      Durban, South Africa, representatives from over a dozen African
                      countries are talking with U.S. and European generic drug makers
                      and UNAIDS to develop a program similar to those found in Brazil
                      and India to produce AIDS drugs at substantially lower prices
                      than those charged for branded drugs. While not committing to
                      the proposal, the African nations hope that the talks will induce
                      AIDS drugs makers like Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb to reduce
                      their prices or offer deals to nations that cannot afford the
                      medications for their citizens. However, any changes to the
                      present market would be a major threat to leading drugs
                      companies, who are concerned that lower prices in some countries
                      will create demand in developed countries for reduced prices as
                      well, where drugs firms make most of their money. The difference
                      in generic pricing is tremendous in Brazil, where Glaxo
                      Wellcome's AZT and 3TC combination therapy sells for $1.50 when
                      produced by generic makers, as compared with its $7 daily cost in
                      Uganda and $18 price in the United States.

                      "Gates, Wife Give $25 Million to Va. Study"
                      Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (07/13/00) P. B3
                      The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, created by Microsoft founder
                      Bill Gates and his wife, has $25 million to Virginia researchers.
                      The grant is meant to finance studies of preparations that can be
                      used to protect women against HIV and other sexually transmitted
                      diseases. Announced at the 13th International AIDS Conference in
                      Durban, South Africa, the funding is intended to help researchers
                      with connections to the Eastern Virginia Medical School of
                      Norfolk for the study and advancement of microbicides, whether in
                      the form of gels, creams, suppositories, or sponges.

                      "Re-Use of Female Condom in African Countries Stirs Worries"
                      Agence France Presse (www.afp.com) (07/11/00)
                      The World Health Organization and UNAIDS expressed concern on
                      Tuesday that poor African women are re-using the female condom.
                      The two agencies noted that women in several sub-Saharan nations
                      were re-using the polyurethane prophylactic because they could
                      not afford or obtain new ones. Officials noted that using soap
                      and water or diluted bleach may not be sufficient to remove HIV
                      from its surface, and the condom may also be weakened by any
                      chemicals used. In a statement, the two groups said that "re-use
                      of the female condom is not recommended."

                      "Drugs Help Mothers Stop Giving HIV to Babies"
                      Reuters (www.reuters.com) (07/11/00)
                      On Tuesday, Bristol-Myers Squibb released data from a study in
                      South Africa demonstrating that two of its HIV drugs, Videx and
                      Zerit, are equivalent to AZT in preventing mother to child
                      HIV-transmission. Bristol-Myers noted that its two medications
                      are in the same class as AZT and Viramune, both of which are
                      highly regarded as HIV-transmission preventatives. Scientists at
                      Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital near Johannesburg administered
                      the drugs to pregnant mothers a few weeks before delivery and
                      then to the babies after birth in various combinations and doses.
                      Preliminary six-week data indicates that the transmission rates
                      for children treated with Videx, Zerit, or a combination of the
                      two drugs were comparable to those treated with AZT.

                      The PreventioNews Mailing List is maintained by the National
                      Prevention Network (NPIN), part of the Centers for Disease
                      Control and Prevention's National Center for HIV, STD, and TB
                      Prevention. Regular postings include the Prevention News
                      Update, conference announcements, current funding opportunities,
                      select articles from the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
                      series, and announcements about new NPIN products and services.

                      To subscribe to the mailing list, send a blank message to
                      preventionews-subscribe@.... To remove your name from
                      the mailing list, send a blank message to

                      Back issues of the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update can be
                      found at ftp://ftp.cdcnpin.org/PrevNews. You can search for
                      back issues in the Prevention News Update Database at

                      Please send all e-mail inquiries to info@....

                      **This message may be copied and distributed; however, it may not
                      be distributed for profit.**
                    • Bell, Elizabeth
                      Senate OKs $600M for AIDS Las Vegas Sun Online (www.lasvegassun.com) (07/26/00) The Senate has passed legislation that grants up to $600 million in U.S.
                      Message 10 of 29 , Jul 27, 2000
                        "Senate OKs $600M for AIDS"
                        Las Vegas Sun Online (www.lasvegassun.com) (07/26/00)
                        The Senate has passed legislation that grants up to $600 million
                        in U.S. funding to fight HIV and AIDS in Africa and other parts
                        of the world. The Senate approved the bill, proposed by Sens.
                        Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), which calls on the
                        U.S. Treasury to set up a trust fund with the World Bank for HIV
                        prevention and treatment and also for the care of children
                        orphaned by AIDS. The measure will supply $300 million in U.S.
                        aid in each of the next two years and also provides $120 million
                        to fight tuberculosis in developing nations.
                      • Bell, Elizabeth
                        Tanzania Declares AIDS National Catastrophe Africa News Service (www.africanews.org) (08/09/00) Tanzania s government has declared AIDS a national disaster.
                        Message 11 of 29 , Aug 10, 2000
                          "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.
                        • Bell, Elizabeth
                          Biotech Firm Seeks Funding for AIDS Tests San Francisco Chronicle (www.sfgate.com) (08/10/00) P. C1; Abate, Tom Calypte Biomedical Corp. of Alameda, Calif.,
                          Message 12 of 29 , Aug 14, 2000
                            "Biotech Firm Seeks Funding for AIDS Tests"
                            San Francisco Chronicle (www.sfgate.com) (08/10/00) P. C1; Abate,
                            Calypte Biomedical Corp. of Alameda, Calif., is hoping to
                            obtain international funding to send a simple HIV test to Africa.
                            The test uses urine samples instead of blood to detect the presence
                            of HIV. Calypte says that it has a verbal agreement from an
                            international agency to fund the six mobile testing clinics it
                            has set up with a partner in South Africa. However, the two
                            firms are looking for additional international support so they
                            can set up mobile clinics in other African nations. According to
                            Calypte officials, the mobile clinics would enter a village and
                            workers would request help from village elders in persuading
                            individuals to submit urine samples. The clinics could then
                            analyze the samples and deliver the results, as well as
                            counseling, the following day.

                            "AIDS Study Prompts New Look at Prevention"
                            Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (08/14/00) P. A3; Okie,
                            Some experts are worried that the use of the spermicide
                            nonoxynol-9 may no longer be advisable for women at risk for HIV,
                            following the release of a UNAIDS study which found that women
                            who used the gel became infected more often than women who used a
                            placebo. Nonoxynol-9 is commonly found in condoms but is also
                            used in contraceptive creams, gels, foams, and sponges. Dr.
                            Helen D. Gayle, director of the National Center for HIV, STD, and
                            TB prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
                            stated, "Clearly, women who are potentially at risk--who have
                            multiple partners, who don't know what the risk of their partner
                            may be--may not be a group of women who should be using
                            nonoxynol-9." The ingredient kills sperm cells but can irritate
                            the vaginal lining if used too much; test tube studies also
                            suggest that nonoxynol-9 can kill HIV and the bacteria that cause
                            certain other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Two
                            U.S.-funded studies of nonoxynol-9 are being conducted among
                            African women at risk for HIV. The first study is testing the
                            ability of nonoxynol-9 to prevent STDs among women in Cameroon,
                            while the second hopes to look for protection against HIV
                            infection in women in Zimbabwe and Malawi. Ward Cates of Family
                            Health International, which is coordinating the second project,
                            noted, however, that following the release of the UNAIDS study
                            about nonoxynol-9, they will not test nonoxynol-9. The
                            researchers have not yet identified a substitute product.
                            Scientists are now testing potential new microbicides and
                            considering what steps to advise women to take. Possible
                            products to be tested include cellulose sulfate and antiviral
                            drugs for the vagina; however, it will be years before any new
                            microbicide reaches to the market.

                            "AIDS Cuts Swath Through Africa's Teachers"
                            New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (08/14/00) P. A1; Onishi,
                            In Africa's Ivory Coast, where nearly 11 percent of the
                            population is thought to have HIV, AIDS is taking the lives of
                            many teachers. "AIDS constitutes one of the biggest crises and
                            the biggest threats to the global education agenda that we have
                            known," UNAIDS head Dr. Peter Piot asserted earlier this year.
                            In 1998, six teachers a week in the Ivory Coast died from AIDS,
                            and the disease took the lives of over 1,300 teachers in Zambia.
                            Lack of knowledge about AIDS and low condom are two factors
                            behind the spread of HIV. A study from 1996 to 1998 found that
                            641 educators died of AIDS in the Ivory Coast, and 69 percent of
                            teachers' deaths during the second year were AIDS related. Also
                            contributing to the spread of disease is the fact that many
                            African teachers, most of whom are men, take their first teaching
                            positions in rural areas, and young women vie for their
                            attention. The lack of outside interruptions in these rural
                            areas leads many teachers to have multiple sexual relationships,
                            and the women often refuse to wear condoms to prove their virtue.
                            Few teachers are willing to get tested for HIV, as the epidemic
                            continues to move throughout Africa.

                            "AIDS, HIV Victims in 14 Africa Countries to Set Up Common
                            Agence France Presse (www.afp.com) (08/13/00)
                            HIV-infected people in 14 central and west African Countries have
                            agreed to set up a network to help each other fight HIV. The
                            network was agreed upon at a two-day conference in Cameroon, the
                            first meeting of the African Network of People Living with HIV
                            and AIDS. Officials from national AIDS groups explained that
                            they wanted to "formulate a plan of action to support other AIDS
                            sufferers and to increase awareness among the rest of the
                            population." The meeting was attended by several United Nations
                            officials, who vowed to support the proposals that were unveiled.

                            "UNICEF to Spend $4 Million to Fight AIDS in Mozambique"
                            Agence France Presse (www.afp.com) (08/12/00)
                            UNICEF official Ian MacLeod announced Friday that $4 million will
                            be spent on anti-AIDS programs in Mozambique this year. MacLeod
                            noted that UNICEF has already provided the National AIDS Council
                            with $30,000 so it can "start [its] operations as soon as
                            possible." MacLeod called on the government, nongovernmental
                            organizations, and the public to work together in the fight
                            against AIDS. An estimated 16 million people in Mozambique are
                            infected with HIV, according to statistics.

                            "AIDS Tops Normally Economic Agenda at Southern Africa Meeting"
                            Agence France Presse (www.afp.com) (08/12/00)
                            AIDS will be the leading issue at a southern African conference
                            that typically focuses on economics. The South Africa
                            International Dialogue (SAID), set to meet later this month,
                            joins leaders to discuss issues like trade and economic growth;
                            however, this year AIDS will be the primary issue for discussion.
                            The fourth annual meeting of SAID is expected to draw over 400
                            delegates to Maputo, South Africa on August 20.
                          • Bell, Elizabeth
                            Researchers Prepare Vaccine Trials in Heart of Africa s AIDS Crisis Detroit Free Press Online (www.freep.com) (08/18/00); Collins, Huntly In Hlabisa, South
                            Message 13 of 29 , Aug 18, 2000
                              "Researchers Prepare Vaccine Trials in Heart of Africa's AIDS
                              Detroit Free Press Online (www.freep.com) (08/18/00); Collins,
                              In Hlabisa, South Africa, researchers are preparing to begin
                              testing an HIV vaccine based on strains of the virus found in
                              sub-Saharan Africa. The potential vaccine has shown effective on
                              macaques, and was created using genetic engineering. In
                              Hlabisa, most people live in huts and have no electricity or
                              running water. The area was selected for the vaccine test
                              because of its high HIV infection rate. Last year, the HIV
                              infection rate among women seeking prenatal care at the local
                              hospital was 33 percent, and the infection rate is nearly 40
                              percent among women between the ages of 15 and 30. The stigma of
                              AIDS continues in this rural area, and people rarely say the word
                              for AIDS, "ingulaza," which means "powerful sexually transmitted
                              disease." The experimental vaccine, set to begin testing by
                              2002, was developed by researchers at the University of North
                              Carolina and the University of Cape Town. As the trial draws
                              closer, the researchers are working educate area residents about
                              AIDS and also to resolve ethical issues related to testing the
                              vaccine in the largely uneducated population that does not even
                              have words for "placebo" or "control group."

                              "South Africa Tourism Fights Perceptions"
                              Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) (08/18/00) P. A11
                              South Africa's tourism industry is fighting perceptions about
                              its safety, as crime and HIV take their toll on the country's
                              economy. The largest wave of visitors to South Africa this year
                              was for the recent International AIDS Conference in Durban. Last
                              year, there were 6 million foreign visitors to the country.

                              "South Africa to Probe Reports of HIV-Linked Dismissals"
                              Reuters (www.reuters.com) (08/17/00); Sithole, Emelia
                              South Africa will investigate claims by Mozambique that South
                              African mining companies are ending contracts with HIV-infected
                              Mozambican workers. South African Labor Minister Membathisis
                              Mdladlana said they will gather more information, even though the
                              South African Chamber of Mines denies wrongdoing. Mario Sevene,
                              Mozambique's top labor official, also said that some of the
                              mining companies were privately testing workers for HIV, breaking
                              South Africa labor laws. The mining industry in South Africa has
                              been hard hit by the AIDS epidemic.

                              "Isolation Camps Proposed for Swazi HIV Victims"
                              Reuters (www.reuters.com) (08/16/00)
                              Tfohlongwane Dlamini, chairman of the Swaziland National Council
                              Standing Committee, has proposed setting up camps to isolate HIV
                              and AIDS patients from the public. The suggestion--an apparent
                              attempt to stem the spread of HIV--was condemned by Swaziland's
                              healthcare workers, who asserted he needed more information about
                              the virus. The Health Ministry noted that HIV cannot be
                              transmitted via casual contact, and the camps would only increase
                              the problems that HIV and AIDS patients face. Swaziland has made
                              several controversial proposals to fight AIDS, including banning
                              mini-skirts in the country's schools.
                            • Bell, Elizabeth
                              Loans to Buy AIDS Drugs Are Rejected by Africans New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (08/22/00) P. A6; Swarns, Rachel L. South Africa and Namibia have refused
                              Message 14 of 29 , Aug 24, 2000
                                "Loans to Buy AIDS Drugs Are Rejected by Africans"
                                New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (08/22/00) P. A6; Swarns, Rachel
                                South Africa and Namibia have refused the United States' offer
                                of $1 billion in yearly loans to finance the purchase of AIDS drugs.
                                The African countries stated that affordable drugs are needed and
                                that the loans would only burden their economies and send them
                                further into debt. The U.S. Export-Import Bank made the loan
                                offer to 24 southern African countries, but none have formally
                                accepted the offer so far. Developing countries have been urging
                                the West to make less expensive anti-AIDS drugs and to allow poor
                                countries to overcome patents in order to manufacture generic
                                versions of the drugs. Earlier this year, the Clinton
                                administration issued an executive order promising not to
                                interfere with African countries that did not follow American
                                patent law to secure cheaper drugs. Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, the
                                permanent secretary for the Namibian Ministry of Health, believes
                                that efforts to support generic drugs are more helpful than loan
                                programs. He stated that accepting the loans would send the
                                country "deeply into debt."

                                "Battling AIDS in Africa by Empowering Women"
                                New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (08/22/00) P. D3; Dreifus,
                                An interview with Dr. Nancy Padian, an epidemiologist who
                                is director of research for the AIDS Research Institute of the
                                University of California at San Francisco, sheds light on her
                                work in Zimbabwe. Dr. Padian commutes between San Francisco and
                                Harare to teach Zimbabwean health workers about how to control
                                the AIDS epidemic. By running studies on the effects of
                                contraception in preventing HIV in women, Padian teaches the
                                women to use barrier methods like condoms. She explains that
                                women have little power to negotiate condom use, but she teaches
                                them to plan for obstacles. Compared to American women, women in
                                southern Africa are much more vulnerable to HIV because of there
                                is a higher prevalence of other sexually transmitted diseases;
                                some women engage in "dry sex," using chemical or other means to
                                dry up cervical and vaginal secretions prior to having sex; and
                                it is not unusual for African men to have several sex partners.
                                Being married is a risk factor for HIV in Zimbabwe, Padian
                                explains, because the women are typically monogamous, but their
                                husbands may not be. The infection rate in Zimbabwe is about 25
                                percent to 30 percent. Padian notes, "The bottom line,
                                universally is, If you cannot negotiate what you are doing with
                                your body, you will not be able to lead a healthy and long life."
                              • Bell, Elizabeth
                                Gates Foundation on Big Funding Spree Science (www.sciencemag.org) (08/11/00) Vol. 289, No. 5481, P. 845; Hagmann, Michael The Bill and Melinda Gates
                                Message 15 of 29 , Aug 29, 2000
                                  "Gates Foundation on Big Funding Spree"
                                  Science (www.sciencemag.org) (08/11/00) Vol. 289, No. 5481, P.
                                  845; Hagmann, Michael
                                  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has made several large
                                  donations for health studies recently. These include $40 million
                                  for the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to study
                                  malaria, $44.7 million for the Harvard Medical School for
                                  tuberculosis (TB), $20 million to Johns Hopkins School of Public
                                  Health for child and maternal health, and $90 million for
                                  HIV/AIDS-related studies at a number of institutions. Jim Yong
                                  Kim of Harvard Medical School--working with the World Health
                                  Organization, local health officials, and others--will be
                                  investigating a treatment program for multidrug-resistant TB
                                  patients in Peru.

                                  "President Urges Nigeria to Fight Tyranny of AIDS"
                                  New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (08/28/00) P. A1; Lacey, Marc
                                  President Clinton, in his visit to Nigeria this week, has
                                  urged the country to confront AIDS and overcome taboos. This is a
                                  challenge not just for Nigeria but for all of Africa, which has
                                  been slow to educate its people about AIDS and the virus that
                                  causes the disease. Clinton said, "We have to break the silence
                                  about how this disease spreads and how to prevent it. And we
                                  need to fight AIDS, not people with AIDS." Clinton offered
                                  American support for Nigeria's battle against AIDS, but he did
                                  not offer any new funding. He did, however, discuss the $20
                                  million the United States is providing to control AIDS, malaria,
                                  and polio in Nigeria this year. Clinton stated that freedom for
                                  Nigeria would come only after infectious diseases are controlled.
                                  Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo also urged debt relief for
                                  his country. He noted, "We don't see [AIDS] as a Nigerian
                                  disease. We see it as a world disease that is ravaging Africa
                                  most." According to the White House, approximately 5.4 percent
                                  of Nigeria's 114 million people are infected with HIV.
                                • Bell, Elizabeth
                                  African Leaders to Meet Annan, Discuss Flash Points Reuters (www.reuters.com) (09/05/00); Mseteka, Buchizya The presidents of South Africa, Malawi, Namibia,
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Sep 5, 2000
                                    "African Leaders to Meet Annan, Discuss Flash Points"
                                    Reuters (www.reuters.com) (09/05/00); Mseteka, Buchizya
                                    The presidents of South Africa, Malawi, Namibia, and Zimbabwe
                                    will meet with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today
                                    to discuss war, debt relief, and AIDS in their countries.
                                    According to analysts, Africa's huge debt load has forced many
                                    countries to spend more on debt problems than on health issues
                                    like AIDS. U.N. statistics indicate that Africa needs at least
                                    $3 billion annually to battle AIDS.

                                    "AIDS Activists Take South African Government to Court"
                                    Lancet (www.thelancet.com) (08/26/00) Vol. 356, No. 9231, P. 746;
                                    Baleta, Adele
                                    South African AIDS activists plan to take their government to
                                    court because it refuses to provide HIV-positive pregnant women
                                    with drugs to help prevent vertical transmission of HIV. The
                                    Treatment Action Campaign set an August 18 deadline for the
                                    health department to change its policies on treating pregnant
                                    women. After no response, legal action is expected. Health
                                    Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang recently announced that clinics
                                    will be chosen for research into nevirapine's use in protecting
                                    newborns from HIV. Antiretroviral drugs are only available in
                                    South Africa on a trial basis at selected sites. After the big
                                    AIDS conference in July, activists had hoped that a shift in
                                    policy would take place. The health department has offered
                                    several reasons for not providing the drugs, including toxicity
                                    and their high price.
                                  • Bell, Elizabeth
                                    (a major step forward from Mugabe) Mugabe Announces That AIDS Had Killed Ministers PANA Wire Service (www.africanews.org/PANA) (09/07/00) Zimbabwe s
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Sep 8, 2000
                                      (a major step forward from Mugabe)

                                      "Mugabe Announces That AIDS Had Killed Ministers"
                                      PANA Wire Service (www.africanews.org/PANA) (09/07/00)
                                      Zimbabwe's President, Robert Mugabe, told participants at the
                                      United Nations Millennium Summit this week that three of his
                                      cabinet ministers and many traditional chiefs have died from AIDS
                                      in the last several years. Mugabe asked for international help
                                      to fight the disease, which is taking the lives of an estimated
                                      2,000 Zimbabweans a week. Mugabe, who also noted he has lost a
                                      "countless number" of extended family members to AIDS, encouraged
                                      global participation to halt the epidemic.

                                      "Trade in Infected Blood Raises International Furor"
                                      Reuters Health Information Services (www.reutershealth.com)
                                      (09/06/00); Kumar, Sanjay
                                      Austrian, Swiss, and U.K. officials are trying to track down
                                      blood plasma contaminated with HIV, hepatitis C, and syphilis,
                                      that was allegedly sold by South African firms to brokers in
                                      Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Authorities fear that
                                      brokers have been selling relabeled contaminated blood products
                                      to various countries for over 10 years. A recent confidential
                                      investigation conducted by South Africa's Department of Health
                                      determined that infected blood plasma not suitable for human use
                                      had been exported within the past decade. Although he noted that
                                      more information is needed about the situation, Dr. Luc Noel--the
                                      coordinator of blood transfusion safety for the World Health
                                      Organization--said that anyone who relabels unsafe blood
                                      products, thus putting others at risk, should be punished.
                                    • Bell, Elizabeth
                                      U.S. Efforts on HIV/AIDS and Infectious Diseases U.S. Newswire (www.usnewswire.com) (09/08/00) The Clinton administration has released a statement showing
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Sep 8, 2000
                                        "U.S. Efforts on HIV/AIDS and Infectious Diseases"
                                        U.S. Newswire (www.usnewswire.com) (09/08/00)

                                        The Clinton administration has released a statement showing its
                                        strong support for United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's
                                        call for international action to fight HIV. The statement notes
                                        that the White House also backs Annan's recommendation that
                                        health research be focused on issues that affect the majority of
                                        the world's people. AIDS, for example, took the lives of 2.8
                                        million people in 1999, while millions continue to die from
                                        vaccine-preventable infections and many more die from disease
                                        which still need vaccines, including AIDS and malaria. The
                                        statement also lists actions the administration has taken that
                                        support the recommendations of the U.N. Millennium Report in
                                        terms of the threat of global disease issues.
                                      • John Spurlock Romweber
                                        Howdy to all of you in ujeni world. I am sending this lettle update as I am changing all of my addresses. Email jsrinbf@hotmail.com. Snailmail is
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Sep 10, 2000
                                          Howdy to all of you in ujeni world. I am sending this lettle update as I
                                          am changing all of my addresses. Email jsrinbf@.... Snailmail is
                                          jsr/BP110/Kaya/Burkina Faso. I have to mosey off to the A's game
                                          now...the mighty Devil Rays are in town. Love to all.

                                        • Bell, Elizabeth
                                          Nurse in Malawi Wages War on AIDS and Apathy New York times (www.nytimes.com) (11/07/00) P. A12; Crossette, Barbara Nurse Catherine Phiri of Malawi
                                          Message 20 of 29 , Nov 8 5:56 AM
                                            "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
                                          • Bell, Elizabeth
                                            African and US Leaders Sign Agreement on AIDS Reuters Health Information Services (www.reutershealth.com) (11/16/00); Clark, Margaret A. A new document
                                            Message 21 of 29 , Nov 21 4:50 AM
                                              "African and US Leaders Sign Agreement on AIDS"
                                              Reuters Health Information Services (www.reutershealth.com)
                                              (11/16/00); Clark, Margaret A.
                                              A new document approved earlier this week by 24 African nations,
                                              representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, U.S. policy
                                              advisors, and researchers focuses on fighting AIDS in Africa.
                                              The document, "Principles of Collaboration: When Confronting AIDS
                                              in Africa," is expected to serve as a basis for an AIDS alliance
                                              between the United States and Africa; however, Dr. Richard
                                              Marlink, head of the Harvard AIDS Institute, which hosted the
                                              summit, noted that African nations must be the ones to take the
                                              initiative. The agreement urges African countries to determine
                                              their needs and set their priorities in terms of AIDS,
                                              specifically prevention efforts to keep the virus from spreading
                                              further and treatment for people already infected with HIV.

                                              "Carter Urges Africans to Take Initiative on AIDS"
                                              Agence France Presse (www.afp.com) (11/16/00)
                                              Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter said Thursday that African
                                              leaders must take the initiative in the war against AIDS, to help
                                              prevent the destruction of national economies and even entire
                                              cultures. Carter, writing in the International Herald Tribune
                                              newspaper, detailed a three-point strategy to help fight the
                                              epidemic. He noted, "AIDS now exceeds malaria as the single
                                              leading cause of death [in Africa], turning back the clock on
                                              hard-won gains in life expectancy achieved by many countries in
                                              recent decades." Carter's plan calls on heads of state and
                                              governments to publicly acknowledge the threat of AIDS and
                                              address the issue on television and radio. The proposal also
                                              recommends that African nations and international partners focus
                                              on preventing new cases of HIV and providing affordable medical
                                              care for those already infected. The last point of Carter's plan
                                              calls for broad partnerships, because "this problem is bigger
                                              than any one country, agency, group, or individual."

                                              "Annan Says TV Should Help Educate Developing World"
                                              Reuters (www.reuters.com) (11/17/00); Bases, Daniel
                                              Television should be used to both inform and educate
                                              people in the developing world, according to United Nations
                                              Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Annan, speaking at the fifth
                                              annual U.N. World Television Forum, noted that new information
                                              technology could help encourage economic growth and also reduce
                                              poverty. However, he warned that while television can inform
                                              people about the value of advances like the Internet, it also
                                              must help with literacy and other basic issues. Harri Holkeri,
                                              the president of the U.N. General Assembly, also pointed out that
                                              the new technology can be used to help promote awareness of
                                              diseases like AIDS in the developing world.
                                            • Bell, Elizabeth
                                              HIV s Onslaught Slows Down in Africa USA Today (www.usatoday.com) (11/28/00) P. 11D; Sternberg, Steve A United Nations report to be released today indicates
                                              Message 22 of 29 , Nov 28 2:33 PM
                                                "HIV's Onslaught Slows Down in Africa"
                                                USA Today (www.usatoday.com) (11/28/00) P. 11D; Sternberg, Steve
                                                A United Nations report to be released today indicates that the
                                                number of new HIV case in sub-Saharan Africa dropped slightly
                                                this year, although prospects for the region are still grim.
                                                UNAIDS head Dr. Peter Piot warned that the decline is "no reason
                                                to cry victory. It doesn't make us very optimistic." Possible
                                                reasons for why the sub-Saharan epidemic has stabilized, Piot
                                                said, could be that prevention efforts may have helped in several
                                                nations or that the people at greatest risk of infection have
                                                already contracted HIV. Meanwhile in Russia, the number of new
                                                HIV infections skyrocketed from 130,000 in 1999 to 300,000 this
                                                year. Piot predicted that if this pace of new infections
                                                continues, the country could see over 1 million HIV cases by
                                                2005. Globally, an estimated 5.3 million people have contracted
                                                HIV this year, including 600,000 children aged 15 or younger.
                                                Some 72 percent of the new HIV infections are in southern Africa.

                                                "U.N. Takes AIDS Battle to Internet"
                                                Atlanta Journal-Constitution (www.accessatlanta.com) (11/28/00)
                                                P. 5C; McKenna, M.A.J.
                                                As the number of HIV infections worldwide continues to soar, an
                                                online project of the United Nations Development Program offers a
                                                suggestion for how people can help. Located at www.NetAid.org,
                                                the site focuses primarily on extreme poverty; however, an
                                                HIV/AIDS program was recently added. The program asks for
                                                donations to buy "kits"--specific amounts for supplies, training,
                                                and transportation--to help fight AIDS in Third World nations.
                                                The site provides detailed data sheets for every project and a
                                                "donation counter" to show how much has been donated and spent
                                                for each program.

                                                "[AIDS in South Africa]"
                                                Christian Science Monitor (www.csmonitor.com) (11/24/00) P. 24
                                                A recent insurance industry conference in Cape Town warned that
                                                unless aggressive measures are taken to stem the spread of HIV
                                                and to improve treatment for those already infected, AIDS will
                                                take the life of one South African every minute within five
                                                years. According to a statement from Lifeworks, an industry
                                                organization established to deal with AIDS, the disease is "the
                                                single most strategic issue facing our economy."
                                              • Bell, Elizabeth
                                                South African Village Prepares for First HIV Vaccine Trial Nature Medicine (medicine.nature.com) (11/00) Vol. 6, No. 11, P. 1199; Connett, Harold South
                                                Message 23 of 29 , Nov 30 9:02 AM
                                                  "South African Village Prepares for First HIV Vaccine Trial"
                                                  Nature Medicine (medicine.nature.com) (11/00) Vol. 6, No. 11, P.
                                                  1199; Connett, Harold
                                                  South Africa's Medical Research Council plans to begin HIV
                                                  vaccine trials in February 2001, with phase III tests slated for
                                                  completion by 2005. The trial will test a Venezuelan equine
                                                  encephalitis (VEE) virus vaccine, which uses an attenuated form
                                                  of VEE with genes from subtype C isolates of South African
                                                  seroconverters. Robert Olmstead, vice president at AlphaVax the
                                                  vaccine producer, said that VEE targets lymphoid tissue and will
                                                  be a good source. The South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative is
                                                  funding development of the vaccine, together with the U.S.
                                                  National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the
                                                  International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. Informing trial subjects
                                                  regarding the vaccine has been a careful process, requiring the
                                                  trust of South African tribal leaders. Hlabisa, which is located
                                                  about four hours from Durban, is the site of the phase II and III
                                                  trials. Health workers have been training educators to reach the
                                                  Hlabisa area, using song and dance to communicate HIV prevention messages.

                                                  "New Cases of HIV Decline in Africa for First Time"
                                                  Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (11/29/00) P. A3; Brown,
                                                  A new report from UNAIDS indicates that the number of people who
                                                  contracted HIV in sub-Saharan Africa declined this year for the
                                                  first time. Officials noted, however, that the finding must be
                                                  interpreted with caution, because it is not known whether the
                                                  drop is an actual turning point or just something temporary.
                                                  "The least we can say is that the trend of an accelerating
                                                  epidemic is now slowing down, and perhaps going down," said Dr.
                                                  Peter Piot, executive director of UNAIDS. Worldwide, there were
                                                  5.3 million new HIV infections this year, compared to 5.6 million
                                                  in 1999. The number of people living with HIV or AIDS increased
                                                  from 33.6 million last year to 36.1 million this year, while the
                                                  number of deaths from the disease also rose, from 2.6 million to
                                                  3 million. The report showed the Eastern Europe and the former
                                                  Soviet Union saw substantial increases in HIV cases, rising from
                                                  420,000 in 1999 to 700,000 now. Furthermore, UNAIDS' estimates
                                                  indicate that more than 50 percent of Russia's 300,000 people
                                                  with HIV contracted the disease this year. "What we had
                                                  predicted and fear is now happening," said Piot, "and that is an
                                                  explosion of HIV."

                                                  "U.N. Requests $3 Billion From Western Governments to Combat AIDS
                                                  Crisis in Africa"
                                                  Philadelphia Inquirer (www.philly.com) (11/29/00); Collins,
                                                  Western governments need to give $3 billion a year for the next
                                                  five years to fight the growing AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan
                                                  Africa, the United Nations said Tuesday. Also, during a
                                                  teleconference with AIDS activists in South Africa and the United
                                                  States, the humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders
                                                  called on the five top drug firms to reduce the prices of their
                                                  AIDS drugs in poor nations by 95 percent starting in January. In
                                                  response, pharmaceutical industry spokesman Mark Grayson said
                                                  they have already made a deal with Senegal for price cuts and
                                                  similar agreements are planned for other countries in Africa. A
                                                  new "report card" for the drug firms shows that American AIDS
                                                  activists gave the companies failing grades on their vows to
                                                  increase access to lifesaving drugs for poor people in Africa.

                                                  "Pfizer Offers AIDS Drug to South Africa"
                                                  Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) (11/29/00) P. A3; Zimmerman,
                                                  Pfizer is expected to announce on December 1, World AIDS Day,
                                                  that it will donate $50 million worth of its antifungal drug
                                                  Diflucan, which is used by many AIDS patients, to South Africa
                                                  over two years. New statistics from the United Nations and the
                                                  World Health Organization show there were 3.8 million new HIV
                                                  infections in sub-Saharan Africa last year and that about 70
                                                  percent of all HIV-infected adults worldwide live in the region.
                                                  Under the deal, Pfizer would provide Diflucan free of charge to
                                                  individuals with cryptococcal meningitis and a kind of meningitis
                                                  of the esophagus that results from thrush and affects between 20
                                                  percent and 40 percent of AIDS patients. South African and U.S.
                                                  AIDS activists, as well as the humanitarian group Doctors Without
                                                  Borders, have criticized the drug company's offer, calling it a
                                                  public-relations move that will likely include several
                                                  restrictions on the drug's distribution.

                                                  "South Africa: Benefit of Anti-Retrovirals Outweigh the Risks--US
                                                  Surgeon General"
                                                  Africa News Service (www.africanews.org) (11/29/00); Harvey,
                                                  U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher stated Tuesday that the
                                                  benefits of antiretroviral treatments outweigh any risks
                                                  involved. Speaking at a press briefing in Pretoria, Satcher said
                                                  the drugs have been especially useful in preventing
                                                  mother-to-child HIV transmission in the United States, and also
                                                  for treating people with AIDS. The price of the drugs is high,
                                                  Satcher admitted, and he noted that South Africa and the United
                                                  States are in very different situations regarding the
                                                  affordability of the medicines. The surgeon general did say,
                                                  however, that Brazil is in a very "similar [socioeconomic] place"
                                                  to South Africa, and that country's government has established
                                                  the necessary infrastructure to provide the drugs and also
                                                  reduced the price of the treatments by manufacturing them
                                                  locally. The briefing was for the Health Working Group of the
                                                  US-SA Bi-National Commission's special meeting on HIV/AIDS, which
                                                  was chaired by Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and
                                                  Satcher. The two officials signed a joint agreement for better
                                                  financial and political cooperation on AIDS.

                                                  "South Africa: Truckers Take to the Road for AIDS"
                                                  Africa News Service (www.africanews.org) (11/29/00); Harvey,
                                                  On Friday, World AIDS Day, 100 truck drivers will participate in
                                                  a special procession to South Africa's Department of Transport,
                                                  to highlight the spread of HIV infection among drivers in the
                                                  country. According to Marlea Clarke, a University of Capetown
                                                  researcher, three truck drivers die every day from AIDS-related
                                                  conditions. There are concerns that the drivers could be one of
                                                  the groups that have a key role on the spread of the virus in
                                                  South Africa, as prostitutes line major highways. Clarke noted
                                                  that the average truck driver spends three days or less at home
                                                  every month, and "there is [a] flourishing commercial sex network
                                                  along the freeway system in the region." Clarke said that mine
                                                  workers, who also visit sex workers frequently, are at risk for
                                                  HIV infection as well.
                                                • Sara Hersey
                                                  I have a research question for anybody interested in the following article that Liz posted. How can UNAIDS measure new HIV infections with such authority?
                                                  Message 24 of 29 , Nov 30 9:32 AM
                                                    I have a research question for anybody interested in the following article
                                                    that Liz posted. How can UNAIDS measure 'new' HIV infections with such
                                                    authority? Slightly sceptical but also interested in how they come about
                                                    these numbers - if anyone can enlighten me.

                                                    >"New Cases of HIV Decline in Africa for First Time"
                                                    >Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (11/29/00) P. A3; Brown,
                                                    > A new report from UNAIDS indicates that the number of people who
                                                    >contracted HIV in sub-Saharan Africa declined this year for the
                                                    >first time. Officials noted, however, that the finding must be
                                                    >interpreted with caution, because it is not known whether the
                                                    >drop is an actual turning point or just something temporary.
                                                    >"The least we can say is that the trend of an accelerating
                                                    >epidemic is now slowing down, and perhaps going down," said Dr.
                                                    >Peter Piot, executive director of UNAIDS. Worldwide, there were
                                                    >5.3 million new HIV infections this year, compared to 5.6 million
                                                    >in 1999. The number of people living with HIV or AIDS increased
                                                    >from 33.6 million last year to 36.1 million this year, while the
                                                    >number of deaths from the disease also rose, from 2.6 million to
                                                    >3 million. The report showed the Eastern Europe and the former
                                                    >Soviet Union saw substantial increases in HIV cases, rising from
                                                    >420,000 in 1999 to 700,000 now. Furthermore, UNAIDS' estimates
                                                    >indicate that more than 50 percent of Russia's 300,000 people
                                                    >with HIV contracted the disease this year. "What we had
                                                    >predicted and fear is now happening," said Piot, "and that is an
                                                    >explosion of HIV."

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                                                  • Paul DEVER
                                                    They go to a hospital this year on this day. They count the AIDS victims. Then they come back next month, next year, etc., and count the umber of cases, minus
                                                    Message 25 of 29 , Nov 30 6:30 PM
                                                      They go to a hospital this year on this day. They count the AIDS victims.
                                                      Then they come back next month, next year, etc., and count the umber of
                                                      cases, minus the number who have died, then they have their new
                                                      number...Very scientific, just like their extrapolations of 33% infection
                                                      among city dwellers they were tossing around about five years back.

                                                      Get more from the Web. FREE MSN Explorer download : http://explorer.msn.com
                                                    • Bell, Elizabeth
                                                      AIDS Drugs for Africa Scientific American (www.sciam.com) (11/00) Vol. 283, No. 5, P. 98; Ezzell, Carol The AIDS epidemic in Africa faces many obstacles, but
                                                      Message 26 of 29 , Dec 8, 2000
                                                        "AIDS Drugs for Africa"
                                                        Scientific American (www.sciam.com) (11/00) Vol. 283, No. 5, P.
                                                        98; Ezzell, Carol
                                                        The AIDS epidemic in Africa faces many obstacles, but the
                                                        chief one is finding affordable antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV
                                                        transmission to newborns and to treat those already infected.
                                                        Most developed nations now routinely offer antiviral therapies to
                                                        HIV-infected mothers; however, there are few clinics in Africa
                                                        that can offer the drugs to these women. Cost is a determining
                                                        factor, as the drugs often cost more than many Africans'
                                                        salaries. Five companies have agreed to cut their drug prices to
                                                        Africa by 80 percent, but that alone will not be a solution.
                                                        According to David Bloom, a professor at Harvard University
                                                        School of Public Health, AIDS is tied into poverty and a lack of
                                                        health infrastructure. Lower drug costs must be accompanied by
                                                        testing to measure the drugs' success in each patient. Rampant
                                                        poverty in South Africa makes the drug AZT unattainable. With
                                                        the help of a discounted price, AZT costs 40 cents for each
                                                        100-milligram pill. Nevirapine is another drug that offers hope
                                                        to prevent HIV transmission to infants. It requires only three
                                                        doses and has been shown to reduce transmission to 14 percent for
                                                        a trial of 652 pregnant women. AZT, by contrast, requires months
                                                        of treatment. South Africa has not accepted an offer of
                                                        nevirapine from Boehringer Ingelheim, as Health Minister Manto
                                                        Tshabalala-Msimang said they do not believe the only answer to
                                                        AIDS is antiretroviral therapy. The government's plan to prevent
                                                        HIV is to treat AIDS-related infections, and form home-based
                                                        care, she said. Tshabalala-Msimang noted that even an 80 percent
                                                        reduction in price would still not be affordable for the 4.2
                                                        million HIV-infected individuals in South Africa. If the issue
                                                        of price is ever overcome, patients would then face the need for
                                                        resistance testing. HIV's ability to mutate quickly requires
                                                        careful monitoring of a patient's therapy. Testing CD4 cells and
                                                        viral load is expensive, however, and not stressed in places like
                                                        Thailand. Christopher Ouma, a worker for Doctors Without Borders
                                                        in Nairobi, Kenya, believes Africa cannot wait for viral load
                                                        testing to become the norm, since they need the drugs now. And
                                                        even after antivirals become widely available to Africa, the
                                                        trick will be adhering to the difficult therapy, which requires a
                                                        strict timetable and food requirements.

                                                        "U.N.'s Annan Demands War Against AIDS in Africa"
                                                        Reuters (www.reuters.com) (12/07/00); Murray, Kieran
                                                        Speaking at a conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, United
                                                        Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said African leaders must make
                                                        fighting AIDS their top priority. Annan noted that the disease
                                                        has taken the lives of millions of people, and it is also a key
                                                        impediment to fighting poverty in the developing world and could
                                                        affect political stability. The official called for concerted,
                                                        comprehensive action against AIDS; however, he pointed out that
                                                        while the world is prepared to spend billions of dollars battling
                                                        the disease, African officials must work to make sure the money
                                                        goes where it is needed most. Annan also said that while the
                                                        majority of AIDS cases are in Africa, the disease is also
                                                        spreading rapidly in Eastern Europe, Russia, and India, and these
                                                        regions could face a situation like the one in Africa unless
                                                        aggressive steps are taken.

                                                        "More Evidence Supports Congo as the World's HIV-1 Epicenter"
                                                        Reuters Health Information Services (www.reutershealth.com)
                                                        A team of researchers from France, Congo, and the United
                                                        Kingdom has identified a high level of genetic diversity within
                                                        HIV-1 group M in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The scientists
                                                        studied 247 HIV-1 isolates from three parts of the country and
                                                        characterized them for diversity within the HIV-1 envelope
                                                        protein V3-V5 region. According to their report in the Journal
                                                        of Virology (2000;74:10498-10507), the most common subtype was
                                                        subtype A; however, all known HIV-1 group M subtypes were
                                                        identified in the samples. The researchers, noting a high level
                                                        of intrasubtype genetic diversity in the isolates and high levels
                                                        of possible recombinant viruses, said the findings lend support
                                                        to Congo being the epicenter of HIV-1 group M viruses.

                                                        "Bottled Up: As UNICEF Battles Baby-Formula Makers, African
                                                        Infants Sicken"
                                                        Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) (12/05/00) P. A1; Freedman,
                                                        Alix M.; Stecklow, Steve
                                                        Between 1.1 million and 1.7 million infants, mostly in Africa,
                                                        have contracted HIV from breast-feeding. Often in the developing
                                                        world, HIV-infected mothers are not told that infant formula is
                                                        an alternative to breast-feeding that could help protect their
                                                        children from AIDS. The issue has pitted the $3 billion
                                                        infant-formula industry, which says it is prepared to donate
                                                        loads of free formula to infected women, against UNICEF, which
                                                        will not approve the donations because it does not want to
                                                        support an industry that it has accused of abusive practices in
                                                        developing nations. During the 1970s, Nestle SA and other
                                                        formula companies aggressively promoted formula in developing
                                                        nations; however, by the time the free samples were used up, the
                                                        women were often no longer producing their own milk and the
                                                        formula was too expensive for them to buy. As some women diluted
                                                        the milk to make it last longer and some babies starved as a
                                                        result, a global boycott of Nestle was organized by activists and
                                                        UNICEF began to reject cash donations from any of the large
                                                        formula makers--something it has also done with land mine
                                                        producers and cigarette companies. In the 1980s, UNICEF and the
                                                        World Health Organization developed a voluntary marketing code
                                                        for formula makers, one which restricted advertising and
                                                        virtually prohibited the distribution of free and low-cost
                                                        formula. But that code was not developed with the AIDS epidemic
                                                        in mind, and many experts say UNICEF should look past previous
                                                        events to help poor mothers with HIV and their babies. However,
                                                        UNICEF head Carol Bellamy asserts that "breast is best," and she
                                                        points out that the lack of adequate sanitation in many areas
                                                        poses its own risks for formula users, possibly exposing babies
                                                        to diarrhea and other deadly diseases, while antibodies in breast
                                                        milk could help prevent such illnesses. Research indicates that
                                                        about 15 percent of HIV-infected pregnant women in Africa will
                                                        transmit the virus to their infants via breast-feeding. UNICEF
                                                        officials have also voiced concerns that giving formula to
                                                        HIV-infected mothers could affect support for breast-feeding
                                                        among healthy mothers. Two years ago, UNICEF and other United
                                                        Nations agencies modified their position on breast-feeding in the
                                                        developing world. The "informed choice" policy holds that
                                                        infected women should be told about the benefits and risks of
                                                        breast-feeding and of alternatives like formula, but the
                                                        statement does not say how poor HIV-infected women who want to
                                                        use formula are supposed to obtain it.
                                                      • Bell, Elizabeth
                                                        Suddenly, a Plan to Treat AIDS in Africa Boston Globe (www.boston.com/globe) (02/13/01) P. A1; Donnelly, John In response to the recent pricing drop for AIDS
                                                        Message 27 of 29 , Feb 15, 2001
                                                          "Suddenly, a Plan to Treat AIDS in Africa"
                                                          Boston Globe (www.boston.com/globe) (02/13/01) P. A1; Donnelly,
                                                          In response to the recent pricing drop for AIDS drug cocktails in
                                                          the world's poorest nations, economists, scientists, AIDS
                                                          specialists and politicians have designed a "blueprint" for
                                                          treatment to be used in countries where the greatest need is.
                                                          The blueprint calls for wealthy nations to pay for the drugs,
                                                          paring the price of AIDS cocktails down to $500 annually per
                                                          patient, and the selection of two African nations and more than
                                                          one dozen projects to be set up as working models. When
                                                          successful, the models could be replicated and repeated across
                                                          Africa. Initially, the projects will focus only on individuals
                                                          with full-blown AIDS, and the plan also calls for piggybacking
                                                          treatment with existing tuberculosis-control programs.

                                                          "World Bank Grants $473 Million Loan to Ethiopia"
                                                          Reuters (www.reuters.com) (02/14/01)
                                                          Ethiopia has been granted a $473 million loan from the World Bank
                                                          to aid in the nation's post-war efforts to rebuild. According to
                                                          Wednesday's announcement by the ministry of finance, $65 million
                                                          of the loan will be used toward the fight against HIV. An
                                                          estimated 3 million Ethiopians have HIV or AIDS.

                                                          "South Africa Mining Firms Test Workers for AIDS"
                                                          Reuters (www.reuters.com) (02/13/01); Swindells, Steven
                                                          Anglo American Platinum, a major South African mining firm,
                                                          has gained the union's approval to begin testing miners in the
                                                          country for HIV. The results of the anonymous testing is
                                                          expected to have a significant impact on the overall mining
                                                          business, which represents the majority of Africa's foreign
                                                          exchange revenue. Economic consultants from WEFA South Africa
                                                          estimate that 4 million semi- and unskilled South African
                                                          laborers could die from the disease between 2010 and 2015, with
                                                          the most significant impact among miners. Health experts said
                                                          Tuesday that an estimated 25 percent of South Africa's 500,000
                                                          miners may be infected with HIV.

                                                          "Zambia: Government Sets Aside K31 Billion for AIDS Fight"
                                                          Africa News Service (www.africanews.org) (02/13/01)
                                                          Zambia's finance and economic development deputy minister Godfrey
                                                          Simasiku said the government has earmarked 31 billion kwacha for
                                                          the battle against AIDS. Simasiku, speaking to group of
                                                          businessmen and civic leaders at a budget meeting in Solwezi last
                                                          Friday, also said that the number of AIDS orphans in the country
                                                          could increase from about 700,000 now to 1 million in the next
                                                          four to five years.
                                                        • Bell, Elizabeth
                                                          Toward a Global AIDS Fund New York Times (05.02.01) The public attention given in recent months to Africa s AIDS crisis has not been matched with money,
                                                          Message 28 of 29 , May 2, 2001
                                                            "Toward a Global AIDS Fund"
                                                            New York Times (05.02.01)
                                                            "The public attention given in recent months to Africa's
                                                            AIDS crisis has not been matched with money," began the editors.
                                                            "Last year the world spent about $1 billion on AIDS in
                                                            developing countries-a sum that will not even buy adequate
                                                            prevention campaigns, much less health infrastructure, care for
                                                            AIDS orphans and necessary medicines for the sick." The editors
                                                            noted UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's speech last week at the
                                                            African AIDS summit in Nigeria, which "lays out a solid basis
                                                            for a global attack on AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria." In his
                                                            speech, Annan called for a global AIDS fund totaling $7 billion
                                                            to $10 billion a year to help stem the epidemic.
                                                            The editors projected how a global AIDS fund would be used.
                                                            "At least initially," they wrote, "a large part of the money
                                                            will go toward building a health infrastructure in the African
                                                            nations most ravaged by AIDS." The editors are encouraged that
                                                            "African leaders from 43 nations have pledged to increase their
                                                            spending on health, and especially on AIDS," which "is a welcome
                                                            sign that African leaders are taking AIDS and health issues more
                                                            But the global AIDS fund will depend on more than Africa's
                                                            commitment to improving its AIDS-fighting programs, and the
                                                            editors fear that US contributions won't be enough. "The global
                                                            AIDS fund ... is likely to be handicapped by a lack of leadership
                                                            from the United States. While Bush administration officials speak
                                                            about AIDS as a catastrophe, the president's 2002 budget adds
                                                            less than 10 percent to this year's spending for AIDS overseas....
                                                            Former President Clinton suggested to the Nigeria AIDS conference
                                                            that Washington should provide a quarter of the global AIDS fund.
                                                            President Bush's budget falls more than $1 billion short of
                                                            that," the editors concluded.

                                                            "First Rule of AIDS in Africa: Do No Harm"
                                                            Wall Street Journal (05.02.01) Holman W Jenkins, Jr
                                                            The editorial addressed the ongoing debate surrounding the
                                                            pharmaceutical industry's price reductions for AIDS drugs,
                                                            specifically for those countries in Africa ravaged by the
                                                            disease. "There is no doubt that a strictly applied drug regimen
                                                            could prolong millions of African lives, but high prices have
                                                            nothing to do with why it's not happening," insisted the author.
                                                            "If Africans and other Third Worlders are left out, it's not
                                                            because of 'corporate greed' but because there is no price at
                                                            which they would become customers for antiretroviral therapy,"
                                                            the author said, citing that several drug companies offered AIDS
                                                            drugs to African governments at or below manufacturing cost, but
                                                            "There were no takers."
                                                            The author discussed the difficulty that delivering and
                                                            managing drug treatment in Africa would present. He quoted a
                                                            recent issue of Patient Care that concurred: "'Patients need to
                                                            be told specifically about the serious consequences of
                                                            nonadherence and that treatment failure may result if even a few
                                                            doses are missed.'" The author pointed to a San Francisco
                                                            General Hospital study that found that "anything less than 95%
                                                            compliance can raise to 50% the chances of treatment failing and
                                                            a resistant virus emerging." And, "This is to say nothing of the
                                                            long-term toxicities that have emerged," which include liver
                                                            failure, kidney failure, a weakening of the bones, nausea,
                                                            diarrhea, vomiting, lactic acidosis and a skewed fat metabolism.
                                                            The author also noted how "many of the drugs come with stringent
                                                            dietary restrictions" that are much easier to adhere to in the
                                                            Western world where "patients have access to adequate nutrition
                                                            in sanitary conditions and clean water."
                                                            "Today's high prices represent not an absence of
                                                            competition but an absence of piracy," the author continued.
                                                            Drug companies have brought out 20 antiretrovirals since AZT was
                                                            introduced, he said, and such "progress doesn't come cheap." He
                                                            warned in conclusion, "This work will come to a screeching halt
                                                            if the mau-mau crowd wins the day because recovering [research
                                                            and development] costs would become impossible. And somewhere
                                                            down the road lies a drug that really would help save African

                                                            "What the World Needs Now"
                                                            POZ (05.01) Gregg Bordowitz
                                                            Leaders of the three-year-old South Africa-based Treatment
                                                            Action Campaign (TAC) have succeeded in issuing a wake-up call to
                                                            governments and pharmaceutical companies around the world. Last
                                                            July, TAC activists seized the world stage with a massive protest
                                                            before the AIDS Conference in Durban. In November, TAC led the
                                                            way to the first-ever waiver allowing importation of a generic
                                                            medication for South Africa's 4 million people with HIV. And it
                                                            was TAC's call to make HIV and opportunistic infection medicines
                                                            available to all HIV-positive South Africans that finally brought
                                                            drug companies to the negotiating table regarding price
                                                            reductions for AIDS drugs in developing countries.
                                                            At TAC's helm is 38-year-old, gay, HIV-positive activist
                                                            Zackie Achmat, who was jailed and beaten by police for his anti-
                                                            apartheid efforts in the late 1970s. In October he was arrested
                                                            and charged with illegal importation of drugs for bringing 5,000
                                                            capsules of Biozole, the Thai version of Pfizer's patented
                                                            fluconazole, into South Africa. Yet Achmat refuses to take
                                                            medications himself. Supporters have offered to purchase
                                                            antiretroviral drugs for him outright, but he has publicly
                                                            declared that he will not take any drugs unless they are
                                                            available to everyone in South Africa. "I have decided not to
                                                            take antiretrovirals because I don't want to live in a world that
                                                            devalues the lives of poor people simply because they are poor. I
                                                            could never look those people in the eye, and I couldn't lead
                                                            them, if I was taking my medicines while they were going
                                                            without," Achmat told POZ.
                                                            Achmat's pledge is a display of the kind of leadership that
                                                            could turn around the AIDS epidemic. In three short years, TAC
                                                            has not only pushed the South African government to expand HIV
                                                            drug access, it has also helped establish an activist network
                                                            among poor nations producing, procuring and distributing quality
                                                            medicines despite trade restrictions and drug industry pressure.
                                                            "It's the activism that pushed my CD4 counts up. It's the fact
                                                            that I have so many more friends now-people with and without
                                                            HIV-because they realize that we are doing something together
                                                            and we can win. Not because of the stand I've taken, but because
                                                            TAC is giving them hope," Achmat said.

                                                            "Annan Speaks About the Fight Against AIDS"
                                                            Associated Press (05.01.01) Gina Cappello
                                                            "The world has the resources to defeat this epidemic if it
                                                            really wants to," UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said of the
                                                            global AIDS epidemic Monday. "But at present, there's a lot of
                                                            confusion about how the money should be raised, where it should
                                                            be directed and who can ensure that it's well spent." Annan
                                                            addressed more than 2,000 philanthropists and business leaders at
                                                            the 52nd annual conference for the Council on Foundations, urging
                                                            public and private organizations to work together to fight the
                                                            spread of HIV and AIDS. Annan once again suggested the creation
                                                            of a global fund dedicated to the battle against HIV/AIDS and
                                                            other diseases to be brought before the June 25 special UN
                                                            session on HIV and AIDS.

                                                            "IMF Urges Countries to Contribute to AIDS Fund"
                                                            Associated Press (05.01.01) Harry Dunphy
                                                            At the conclusion of the spring meetings of the
                                                            International Monetary Fund and World Bank, finance ministers and
                                                            central bank governors announced their support for the
                                                            establishment of a global fund to combat AIDS and other diseases.
                                                            The ministers pledged there would be a substantial increase in
                                                            funds to fight AIDS and other infectious diseases in poor
                                                            countries. "What's clear now is that the commitment is growing
                                                            by leaps and bounds, particularly among finance ministers in the
                                                            industrialized countries as we saw this weekend," said Chris
                                                            Lovelace, director of World Bank's unit for health, population
                                                            and nutrition.
                                                          • Bell, Elizabeth
                                                            I have a new hero: Catholic Bishops to Fight AIDS South African Press Association (07.27.01) Catholic bishops from across southern Africa gathered on
                                                            Message 29 of 29 , Jul 30, 2001
                                                              I have a new hero:

                                                              "Catholic Bishops to Fight AIDS"
                                                              South African Press Association (07.27.01)
                                                              Catholic bishops from across southern Africa gathered on
                                                              Wednesday at St. Peter's Seminary in Garsfontein, Pretoria, to
                                                              attend the Southern African Catholic Bishop's Conference (SACBC).
                                                              Bishop Reginald Cawcutt, spokesperson, said the six-day
                                                              conference was aimed at preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. A
                                                              substantial part of the conference's discussions will focus on
                                                              the AIDS and a proposal that the church reconsider its ban on
                                                              condoms to combat the spread of disease, he said.
                                                              Almost five million South Africans are HIV-infected. Earlier
                                                              this month in the United States, Rustenburg Bishop Kevin Dowling
                                                              proposed that the church's ban on condoms be lifted, saying AIDS
                                                              was killing so many people he felt he could not duck the issue.
                                                              Dowling was supported in his proposal by the Catholic newspaper
                                                              Southern Cross, which said condoms provided one way of stemming
                                                              the AIDS pandemic. The newspaper called on the church to
                                                              reconcile its total ban on contraception with the philosophy of
                                                              the sanctity of life.
                                                              SACBC President Cardinal Wilfrid Napier said Dowling's
                                                              statement would be weighed against not only the church's
                                                              teachings, but also scientific evidence on the effectiveness of
                                                              condoms in preventing infection. The conference will also focus
                                                              on Angola, whose government the church has accused of encouraging
                                                              sexual permissiveness through a recently launched campaign to
                                                              promote condom use. The conference wraps up on Monday.

                                                              "World Education Leaders Sound Alarm over AIDS Pandemic"
                                                              Agence France Presse (07.26.01)
                                                              The AIDS pandemic has had a bigger effect on teaching than
                                                              any other profession and threatens to wipe out the trade in
                                                              Africa within 10 years, a global conference heard Thursday. "The
                                                              percentage of teachers who have died or carry the HIV virus is
                                                              higher than for most professional groups," said Fred van
                                                              Leeuwen, secretary general of Education International (EI). The
                                                              confederation of about 300 teaching unions and organizations from
                                                              155 countries is holding a conference in Thailand focusing on
                                                              teaching in the age of globalization.
                                                              Some 35-40 percent of secondary school teachers in Botswana
                                                              are infected with HIV, the EI said. "In the next 10 years, if
                                                              nothing is done, the ranks of teachers will completely disappear
                                                              in Africa," said Monique Fouiloux, EI's AIDS specialist. There
                                                              are also concerns that teachers are abusing their position to
                                                              sexually exploit children under their care, helping fuel the
                                                              transmission of the deadly disease. This year in conjunction with
                                                              other international institutions including UNESCO, EI intends to
                                                              make AIDS prevention an integral part of its education mission.
                                                              In the process, it will have to counter significant cultural
                                                              barriers that hamper frank discussion of AIDS, a problem that is
                                                              particularly severe outside the cities. "In Botswana, the only
                                                              place where it is difficult to talk about AIDS is in rural
                                                              areas," said Japhta Radibe, a representative of the Botwsana
                                                              Teachers Union. "Even before HIV/AIDS, we had a shortage of
                                                              teachers, but the pandemic has aggravated it," she said.

                                                              "AIDS Costs Kenya Heavily"
                                                              Xinhua (07.27.01)
                                                              According to Kenya's National AIDS Control Council, the
                                                              nation is losing about $2.6 million daily to the HIV/AIDS
                                                              epidemic. Speaking at the Nairobi Provincial AIDS Control
                                                              Committee workshop this week, Chair Mohammed Abdullah said that
                                                              certain practices are spreading the disease and his council is
                                                              now advocating an attitude change and measures to reduce
                                                              transmission. Chris Kirubi, a council member, urged the
                                                              government to end and criminalize female genital mutilation and
                                                              blamed the practice for helping the spread of HIV/AIDS. Other
                                                              measures recommended include ending prostitution along Nairobi
                                                              streets and curbing the influx of child prostitutes. Kenya is one
                                                              of the sub-Saharan African countries hardest hit by AIDS: 1.1
                                                              million Kenyans have died of the disease since 1984, and 2.2
                                                              million others are living with HIV.
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