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AIDS in Africa

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  • Bell, Elizabeth
    **************************************************************** GENERAL MEDIA **************************************************************** Intermittent
    Message 1 of 29 , Jul 12, 2000
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      "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 2 of 29 , Jul 13, 2000
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        "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


        "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.

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      • 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 3 of 29 , Jul 27, 2000
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          "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 4 of 29 , Aug 10, 2000
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            "Tanzania Declares AIDS National Catastrophe"
            Africa News Service (www.africanews.org) (08/09/00)
            Tanzania's government has declared AIDS a national disaster.
            Given the disease's impact on both the economy and the community,
            Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Mariam Mwaffisi
            announced, "[Nongovernmental organizations], religious groups,
            and other institutions should join in the war against the
            epidemic in order to reduce its spread and mitigate its impact."
            While she did not provide any statistics about AIDS in Tanzania,
            Mwaffisi said Tuesday that she has set up a seminar to help the
            13 registered political parties better understand AIDS and the
            issues surrounding it before the general elections this fall.
            Earlier this year, Vice President Dr. Omari Juma urged various
            religious groups to join the fight against AIDS, and he also
            called on the nation to end customs and traditions that could
            help spread HIV, such as wife inheriting.

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

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

            "HIV Vaccine Trials Planned for Africa"
            Nature Medicine (medicine.nature.com) (08/00) Vol. 6, No. 8, P.
            844; Birmingham, Karen
            Oxford University immunologist Andrew McMichael announced at
            the recent International AIDS Conference that human testing of the
            gag DNA element of a DNA/modified vaccinia virus prime boost HIV
            vaccine will begin Phase I trials this month in Oxford, England.
            Testing of the vaccinia boost part will begin in September, with
            tests of both parts expected soon after. The vaccine, being
            developed in conjunction with the University of Nairobi, is also
            set to start testing in Kenya later this year. Separately, the
            South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative (SAAVI) continues to work
            on its HIV vaccine--a Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus
            vaccine that could begin human trials in January 2001. SAAVI has
            seven other vaccines in various stages of development. Also, in
            a move that will help further South Africa's vaccine efforts, the
            U.S. National Institutes of Health recently gave the South
            African Medical Research Council $14.7 million over five years
            for AIDS research, with part of the money to be used for testing
            microbicides and the effectiveness of nevirapine in preventing
            HIV transmission by breast-feeding mothers.
          • 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 5 of 29 , Aug 14, 2000
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              "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 6 of 29 , Aug 18, 2000
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                "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 7 of 29 , Aug 24, 2000
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                  "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 8 of 29 , Aug 29, 2000
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                    "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 9 of 29 , Sep 5, 2000
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                      "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 10 of 29 , Sep 8, 2000
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                        (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 11 of 29 , Sep 8, 2000
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                          "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 12 of 29 , Sep 10, 2000
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                            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 13 of 29 , Nov 8, 2000
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                              "Nurse in Malawi Wages War on AIDS and Apathy"
                              New York times (www.nytimes.com) (11/07/00) P. A12; Crossette,
                              Nurse Catherine Phiri of Malawi contracted HIV during the
                              rule of Hastings Kamuzu Banda, who prohibited any public discussion
                              of the disease. When a democratic government took over in 1994,
                              Phiri founded a support group for anyone affected by HIV, and
                              last month, she received a Race Against Poverty Award from the
                              United Nations Development Program and UNAIDS. Phiri said the
                              new president of Malawi, Bakili Muluzi, has helped increase
                              awareness about HIV and AIDS. She also noted that the press is
                              now free enough to help show residents the extent of the problem
                              in the country, where 25 percent of the urban work force is
                              expected to die from AIDS within 10 years. Phiri said, "I hope
                              that we will be recognized by being given the award, and that the
                              government will now have something to do with us. ... I've been
                              writing [the president] proposals that have never been answered."
                              The three other recipients of the Race Against Povery Awards were
                              Maire Bopp Dupont, a radio journalist who has worked to inform
                              Pacific islanders about AIDS; Rita Arauz, a Nicaraguan
                              psychologist who set up a foundation to study and deal with HIV
                              and other sexually transmitted infections; and the Rev. Arkadiusz
                              Nowak, a priest who opened the first AIDS hospice in Poland.

                              "AIDS Smothers African Kingdom; Swaziland: AIDS Is Destroying a
                              Baltimore Sun (www.sunspot.net) (11/04/00) P. 1A; Murphy, John
                              Swaziland, located between South Africa and Mozambique, has
                              been ineffective at responding to the AIDS epidemic thus far. The
                              latest measures involved parliament banning miniskirts in schools
                              to reduce sex between teachers and students. AIDS activists in
                              Swaziland struggle against the country's traditions and shame
                              surrounding AIDS. Out of a population of 1 million, an estimated
                              22 percent are infected with HIV, and 40 percent of all pregnant
                              women are HIV-positive. According to Christabel Motsa,
                              chairwoman of the government's crisis committee on disease,
                              people there are afraid to talk about AIDS and deny that it is a
                              problem. Tradition is hard to overcome, as the kingdom is ruled
                              by a monarch with seven wives. Polygamy is rampant in rural
                              areas, and contraceptives are ignored. King Mswati declared HIV
                              a national disaster last year and has urged HIV testing, but
                              proposals to place HIV-infected people in camps or sterile them
                              highlight the mindset of the kingdom. Without frank talk about
                              AIDS, little prevention or treatment can be reached. Motsa is
                              worried that her group's five-year plan to fight AIDS will be
                              overshadowed by odd suggestions from lawmakers. The nation's
                              plan will center on AIDS prevention and education of traditional
                            • 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 14 of 29 , Nov 21, 2000
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                                "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 15 of 29 , Nov 28, 2000
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                                  "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 16 of 29 , Nov 30, 2000
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                                    "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 17 of 29 , Nov 30, 2000
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                                      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 18 of 29 , Dec 1, 2000
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                                        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 19 of 29 , Dec 8, 2000
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                                          "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 20 of 29 , Feb 15, 2001
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                                            "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 21 of 29 , May 2, 2001
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                                              "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 22 of 29 , Jul 30, 2001
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                                                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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