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AIDS in Africa

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  • 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 1 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 2 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.


        "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 3 of 29 , Jul 10, 2000
          there are not many true heroes in this world, but jonathan mann was one.

          bless him.


          "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 4 of 29 , Jul 11, 2000

            "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 5 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 6 of 29 , Jul 13, 2000

                "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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 of 29 , Nov 8, 2000
                                      "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 18 of 29 , Nov 21, 2000
                                        "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 19 of 29 , Nov 28, 2000
                                          "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 20 of 29 , Nov 30, 2000
                                            "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 21 of 29 , Nov 30, 2000
                                              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 22 of 29 , Nov 30, 2000
                                                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.

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                                              • 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 23 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 24 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 25 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 26 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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