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AIDS in Africa

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  • 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 1 of 29 , Aug 10 7:56 AM
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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,
      Peter
      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 2 of 29 , Aug 14 1:54 PM
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        "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., 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,
        Susan
        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,
        Norimitsu
        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
        Network"
        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 3 of 29 , Aug 18 11:13 AM
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          "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 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 4 of 29 , Aug 24 12:27 PM
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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
            L.
            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,
            Claudia
            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 5 of 29 , Aug 29 10:28 AM
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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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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.

                      JSR
                    • 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 10 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,
                        Barbara
                        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
                        Nation"
                        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
                        leaders.
                      • 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 11 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 12 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 13 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,
                              David
                              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,
                              Huntly
                              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,
                              Rachel
                              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,
                              Marjolein
                              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,
                              Marjolein
                              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 14 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.

                                Sara
                                >
                                >"New Cases of HIV Decline in Africa for First Time"
                                >Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (11/29/00) P. A3; Brown,
                                >David
                                > 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 15 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 16 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)
                                    (12/05/00)
                                    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 17 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,
                                      John
                                      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 18 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
                                        seriously."
                                        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
                                        lives."


                                        "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 19 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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