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AIDS in Africa

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  • 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 1 of 29 , Aug 14, 2000
      "Biotech Firm Seeks Funding for AIDS Tests"
      San Francisco Chronicle (www.sfgate.com) (08/10/00) P. C1; Abate,
      Calypte Biomedical Corp. of Alameda, Calif., is hoping to
      obtain international funding to send a simple HIV test to Africa.
      The test uses urine samples instead of blood to detect the presence
      of HIV. Calypte says that it has a verbal agreement from an
      international agency to fund the six mobile testing clinics it
      has set up with a partner in South Africa. However, the two
      firms are looking for additional international support so they
      can set up mobile clinics in other African nations. According to
      Calypte officials, the mobile clinics would enter a village and
      workers would request help from village elders in persuading
      individuals to submit urine samples. The clinics could then
      analyze the samples and deliver the results, as well as
      counseling, the following day.

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

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

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

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

      "AIDS Tops Normally Economic Agenda at Southern Africa Meeting"
      Agence France Presse (www.afp.com) (08/12/00)
      AIDS will be the leading issue at a southern African conference
      that typically focuses on economics. The South Africa
      International Dialogue (SAID), set to meet later this month,
      joins leaders to discuss issues like trade and economic growth;
      however, this year AIDS will be the primary issue for discussion.
      The fourth annual meeting of SAID is expected to draw over 400
      delegates to Maputo, South Africa on August 20.
    • Bell, Elizabeth
      Researchers Prepare Vaccine Trials in Heart of Africa s AIDS Crisis Detroit Free Press Online (www.freep.com) (08/18/00); Collins, Huntly In Hlabisa, South
      Message 2 of 29 , Aug 18, 2000
        "Researchers Prepare Vaccine Trials in Heart of Africa's AIDS
        Detroit Free Press Online (www.freep.com) (08/18/00); Collins,
        In Hlabisa, South Africa, researchers are preparing to begin
        testing an HIV vaccine based on strains of the virus found in
        sub-Saharan Africa. The potential vaccine has shown effective on
        macaques, and was created using genetic engineering. In
        Hlabisa, most people live in huts and have no electricity or
        running water. The area was selected for the vaccine test
        because of its high HIV infection rate. Last year, the HIV
        infection rate among women seeking prenatal care at the local
        hospital was 33 percent, and the infection rate is nearly 40
        percent among women between the ages of 15 and 30. The stigma of
        AIDS continues in this rural area, and people rarely say the word
        for AIDS, "ingulaza," which means "powerful sexually transmitted
        disease." The experimental vaccine, set to begin testing by
        2002, was developed by researchers at the University of North
        Carolina and the University of Cape Town. As the trial draws
        closer, the researchers are working educate area residents about
        AIDS and also to resolve ethical issues related to testing the
        vaccine in the largely uneducated population that does not even
        have words for "placebo" or "control group."

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

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

        "Isolation Camps Proposed for Swazi HIV Victims"
        Reuters (www.reuters.com) (08/16/00)
        Tfohlongwane Dlamini, chairman of the Swaziland National Council
        Standing Committee, has proposed setting up camps to isolate HIV
        and AIDS patients from the public. The suggestion--an apparent
        attempt to stem the spread of HIV--was condemned by Swaziland's
        healthcare workers, who asserted he needed more information about
        the virus. The Health Ministry noted that HIV cannot be
        transmitted via casual contact, and the camps would only increase
        the problems that HIV and AIDS patients face. Swaziland has made
        several controversial proposals to fight AIDS, including banning
        mini-skirts in the country's schools.
      • Bell, Elizabeth
        Loans to Buy AIDS Drugs Are Rejected by Africans New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (08/22/00) P. A6; Swarns, Rachel L. South Africa and Namibia have refused
        Message 3 of 29 , Aug 24, 2000
          "Loans to Buy AIDS Drugs Are Rejected by Africans"
          New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (08/22/00) P. A6; Swarns, Rachel
          South Africa and Namibia have refused the United States' offer
          of $1 billion in yearly loans to finance the purchase of AIDS drugs.
          The African countries stated that affordable drugs are needed and
          that the loans would only burden their economies and send them
          further into debt. The U.S. Export-Import Bank made the loan
          offer to 24 southern African countries, but none have formally
          accepted the offer so far. Developing countries have been urging
          the West to make less expensive anti-AIDS drugs and to allow poor
          countries to overcome patents in order to manufacture generic
          versions of the drugs. Earlier this year, the Clinton
          administration issued an executive order promising not to
          interfere with African countries that did not follow American
          patent law to secure cheaper drugs. Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, the
          permanent secretary for the Namibian Ministry of Health, believes
          that efforts to support generic drugs are more helpful than loan
          programs. He stated that accepting the loans would send the
          country "deeply into debt."

          "Battling AIDS in Africa by Empowering Women"
          New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (08/22/00) P. D3; Dreifus,
          An interview with Dr. Nancy Padian, an epidemiologist who
          is director of research for the AIDS Research Institute of the
          University of California at San Francisco, sheds light on her
          work in Zimbabwe. Dr. Padian commutes between San Francisco and
          Harare to teach Zimbabwean health workers about how to control
          the AIDS epidemic. By running studies on the effects of
          contraception in preventing HIV in women, Padian teaches the
          women to use barrier methods like condoms. She explains that
          women have little power to negotiate condom use, but she teaches
          them to plan for obstacles. Compared to American women, women in
          southern Africa are much more vulnerable to HIV because of there
          is a higher prevalence of other sexually transmitted diseases;
          some women engage in "dry sex," using chemical or other means to
          dry up cervical and vaginal secretions prior to having sex; and
          it is not unusual for African men to have several sex partners.
          Being married is a risk factor for HIV in Zimbabwe, Padian
          explains, because the women are typically monogamous, but their
          husbands may not be. The infection rate in Zimbabwe is about 25
          percent to 30 percent. Padian notes, "The bottom line,
          universally is, If you cannot negotiate what you are doing with
          your body, you will not be able to lead a healthy and long life."
        • Bell, Elizabeth
          Gates Foundation on Big Funding Spree Science (www.sciencemag.org) (08/11/00) Vol. 289, No. 5481, P. 845; Hagmann, Michael The Bill and Melinda Gates
          Message 4 of 29 , Aug 29, 2000
            "Gates Foundation on Big Funding Spree"
            Science (www.sciencemag.org) (08/11/00) Vol. 289, No. 5481, P.
            845; Hagmann, Michael
            The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has made several large
            donations for health studies recently. These include $40 million
            for the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to study
            malaria, $44.7 million for the Harvard Medical School for
            tuberculosis (TB), $20 million to Johns Hopkins School of Public
            Health for child and maternal health, and $90 million for
            HIV/AIDS-related studies at a number of institutions. Jim Yong
            Kim of Harvard Medical School--working with the World Health
            Organization, local health officials, and others--will be
            investigating a treatment program for multidrug-resistant TB
            patients in Peru.

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

              "AIDS Activists Take South African Government to Court"
              Lancet (www.thelancet.com) (08/26/00) Vol. 356, No. 9231, P. 746;
              Baleta, Adele
              South African AIDS activists plan to take their government to
              court because it refuses to provide HIV-positive pregnant women
              with drugs to help prevent vertical transmission of HIV. The
              Treatment Action Campaign set an August 18 deadline for the
              health department to change its policies on treating pregnant
              women. After no response, legal action is expected. Health
              Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang recently announced that clinics
              will be chosen for research into nevirapine's use in protecting
              newborns from HIV. Antiretroviral drugs are only available in
              South Africa on a trial basis at selected sites. After the big
              AIDS conference in July, activists had hoped that a shift in
              policy would take place. The health department has offered
              several reasons for not providing the drugs, including toxicity
              and their high price.
            • Bell, Elizabeth
              (a major step forward from Mugabe) Mugabe Announces That AIDS Had Killed Ministers PANA Wire Service (www.africanews.org/PANA) (09/07/00) Zimbabwe s
              Message 6 of 29 , Sep 8, 2000
                (a major step forward from Mugabe)

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

                "Trade in Infected Blood Raises International Furor"
                Reuters Health Information Services (www.reutershealth.com)
                (09/06/00); Kumar, Sanjay
                Austrian, Swiss, and U.K. officials are trying to track down
                blood plasma contaminated with HIV, hepatitis C, and syphilis,
                that was allegedly sold by South African firms to brokers in
                Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Authorities fear that
                brokers have been selling relabeled contaminated blood products
                to various countries for over 10 years. A recent confidential
                investigation conducted by South Africa's Department of Health
                determined that infected blood plasma not suitable for human use
                had been exported within the past decade. Although he noted that
                more information is needed about the situation, Dr. Luc Noel--the
                coordinator of blood transfusion safety for the World Health
                Organization--said that anyone who relabels unsafe blood
                products, thus putting others at risk, should be punished.
              • Bell, Elizabeth
                U.S. Efforts on HIV/AIDS and Infectious Diseases U.S. Newswire (www.usnewswire.com) (09/08/00) The Clinton administration has released a statement showing
                Message 7 of 29 , Sep 8, 2000
                  "U.S. Efforts on HIV/AIDS and Infectious Diseases"
                  U.S. Newswire (www.usnewswire.com) (09/08/00)

                  The Clinton administration has released a statement showing its
                  strong support for United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's
                  call for international action to fight HIV. The statement notes
                  that the White House also backs Annan's recommendation that
                  health research be focused on issues that affect the majority of
                  the world's people. AIDS, for example, took the lives of 2.8
                  million people in 1999, while millions continue to die from
                  vaccine-preventable infections and many more die from disease
                  which still need vaccines, including AIDS and malaria. The
                  statement also lists actions the administration has taken that
                  support the recommendations of the U.N. Millennium Report in
                  terms of the threat of global disease issues.
                • John Spurlock Romweber
                  Howdy to all of you in ujeni world. I am sending this lettle update as I am changing all of my addresses. Email jsrinbf@hotmail.com. Snailmail is
                  Message 8 of 29 , Sep 10, 2000
                    Howdy to all of you in ujeni world. I am sending this lettle update as I
                    am changing all of my addresses. Email jsrinbf@.... Snailmail is
                    jsr/BP110/Kaya/Burkina Faso. I have to mosey off to the A's game
                    now...the mighty Devil Rays are in town. Love to all.

                  • Bell, Elizabeth
                    Nurse in Malawi Wages War on AIDS and Apathy New York times (www.nytimes.com) (11/07/00) P. A12; Crossette, Barbara Nurse Catherine Phiri of Malawi
                    Message 9 of 29 , Nov 8, 2000
                      "Nurse in Malawi Wages War on AIDS and Apathy"
                      New York times (www.nytimes.com) (11/07/00) P. A12; Crossette,
                      Nurse Catherine Phiri of Malawi contracted HIV during the
                      rule of Hastings Kamuzu Banda, who prohibited any public discussion
                      of the disease. When a democratic government took over in 1994,
                      Phiri founded a support group for anyone affected by HIV, and
                      last month, she received a Race Against Poverty Award from the
                      United Nations Development Program and UNAIDS. Phiri said the
                      new president of Malawi, Bakili Muluzi, has helped increase
                      awareness about HIV and AIDS. She also noted that the press is
                      now free enough to help show residents the extent of the problem
                      in the country, where 25 percent of the urban work force is
                      expected to die from AIDS within 10 years. Phiri said, "I hope
                      that we will be recognized by being given the award, and that the
                      government will now have something to do with us. ... I've been
                      writing [the president] proposals that have never been answered."
                      The three other recipients of the Race Against Povery Awards were
                      Maire Bopp Dupont, a radio journalist who has worked to inform
                      Pacific islanders about AIDS; Rita Arauz, a Nicaraguan
                      psychologist who set up a foundation to study and deal with HIV
                      and other sexually transmitted infections; and the Rev. Arkadiusz
                      Nowak, a priest who opened the first AIDS hospice in Poland.

                      "AIDS Smothers African Kingdom; Swaziland: AIDS Is Destroying a
                      Baltimore Sun (www.sunspot.net) (11/04/00) P. 1A; Murphy, John
                      Swaziland, located between South Africa and Mozambique, has
                      been ineffective at responding to the AIDS epidemic thus far. The
                      latest measures involved parliament banning miniskirts in schools
                      to reduce sex between teachers and students. AIDS activists in
                      Swaziland struggle against the country's traditions and shame
                      surrounding AIDS. Out of a population of 1 million, an estimated
                      22 percent are infected with HIV, and 40 percent of all pregnant
                      women are HIV-positive. According to Christabel Motsa,
                      chairwoman of the government's crisis committee on disease,
                      people there are afraid to talk about AIDS and deny that it is a
                      problem. Tradition is hard to overcome, as the kingdom is ruled
                      by a monarch with seven wives. Polygamy is rampant in rural
                      areas, and contraceptives are ignored. King Mswati declared HIV
                      a national disaster last year and has urged HIV testing, but
                      proposals to place HIV-infected people in camps or sterile them
                      highlight the mindset of the kingdom. Without frank talk about
                      AIDS, little prevention or treatment can be reached. Motsa is
                      worried that her group's five-year plan to fight AIDS will be
                      overshadowed by odd suggestions from lawmakers. The nation's
                      plan will center on AIDS prevention and education of traditional
                    • Bell, Elizabeth
                      African and US Leaders Sign Agreement on AIDS Reuters Health Information Services (www.reutershealth.com) (11/16/00); Clark, Margaret A. A new document
                      Message 10 of 29 , Nov 21, 2000
                        "African and US Leaders Sign Agreement on AIDS"
                        Reuters Health Information Services (www.reutershealth.com)
                        (11/16/00); Clark, Margaret A.
                        A new document approved earlier this week by 24 African nations,
                        representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, U.S. policy
                        advisors, and researchers focuses on fighting AIDS in Africa.
                        The document, "Principles of Collaboration: When Confronting AIDS
                        in Africa," is expected to serve as a basis for an AIDS alliance
                        between the United States and Africa; however, Dr. Richard
                        Marlink, head of the Harvard AIDS Institute, which hosted the
                        summit, noted that African nations must be the ones to take the
                        initiative. The agreement urges African countries to determine
                        their needs and set their priorities in terms of AIDS,
                        specifically prevention efforts to keep the virus from spreading
                        further and treatment for people already infected with HIV.

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

                        "Annan Says TV Should Help Educate Developing World"
                        Reuters (www.reuters.com) (11/17/00); Bases, Daniel
                        Television should be used to both inform and educate
                        people in the developing world, according to United Nations
                        Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Annan, speaking at the fifth
                        annual U.N. World Television Forum, noted that new information
                        technology could help encourage economic growth and also reduce
                        poverty. However, he warned that while television can inform
                        people about the value of advances like the Internet, it also
                        must help with literacy and other basic issues. Harri Holkeri,
                        the president of the U.N. General Assembly, also pointed out that
                        the new technology can be used to help promote awareness of
                        diseases like AIDS in the developing world.
                      • Bell, Elizabeth
                        HIV s Onslaught Slows Down in Africa USA Today (www.usatoday.com) (11/28/00) P. 11D; Sternberg, Steve A United Nations report to be released today indicates
                        Message 11 of 29 , Nov 28, 2000
                          "HIV's Onslaught Slows Down in Africa"
                          USA Today (www.usatoday.com) (11/28/00) P. 11D; Sternberg, Steve
                          A United Nations report to be released today indicates that the
                          number of new HIV case in sub-Saharan Africa dropped slightly
                          this year, although prospects for the region are still grim.
                          UNAIDS head Dr. Peter Piot warned that the decline is "no reason
                          to cry victory. It doesn't make us very optimistic." Possible
                          reasons for why the sub-Saharan epidemic has stabilized, Piot
                          said, could be that prevention efforts may have helped in several
                          nations or that the people at greatest risk of infection have
                          already contracted HIV. Meanwhile in Russia, the number of new
                          HIV infections skyrocketed from 130,000 in 1999 to 300,000 this
                          year. Piot predicted that if this pace of new infections
                          continues, the country could see over 1 million HIV cases by
                          2005. Globally, an estimated 5.3 million people have contracted
                          HIV this year, including 600,000 children aged 15 or younger.
                          Some 72 percent of the new HIV infections are in southern Africa.

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

                          "[AIDS in South Africa]"
                          Christian Science Monitor (www.csmonitor.com) (11/24/00) P. 24
                          A recent insurance industry conference in Cape Town warned that
                          unless aggressive measures are taken to stem the spread of HIV
                          and to improve treatment for those already infected, AIDS will
                          take the life of one South African every minute within five
                          years. According to a statement from Lifeworks, an industry
                          organization established to deal with AIDS, the disease is "the
                          single most strategic issue facing our economy."
                        • Bell, Elizabeth
                          South African Village Prepares for First HIV Vaccine Trial Nature Medicine (medicine.nature.com) (11/00) Vol. 6, No. 11, P. 1199; Connett, Harold South
                          Message 12 of 29 , Nov 30, 2000
                            "South African Village Prepares for First HIV Vaccine Trial"
                            Nature Medicine (medicine.nature.com) (11/00) Vol. 6, No. 11, P.
                            1199; Connett, Harold
                            South Africa's Medical Research Council plans to begin HIV
                            vaccine trials in February 2001, with phase III tests slated for
                            completion by 2005. The trial will test a Venezuelan equine
                            encephalitis (VEE) virus vaccine, which uses an attenuated form
                            of VEE with genes from subtype C isolates of South African
                            seroconverters. Robert Olmstead, vice president at AlphaVax the
                            vaccine producer, said that VEE targets lymphoid tissue and will
                            be a good source. The South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative is
                            funding development of the vaccine, together with the U.S.
                            National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the
                            International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. Informing trial subjects
                            regarding the vaccine has been a careful process, requiring the
                            trust of South African tribal leaders. Hlabisa, which is located
                            about four hours from Durban, is the site of the phase II and III
                            trials. Health workers have been training educators to reach the
                            Hlabisa area, using song and dance to communicate HIV prevention messages.

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

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

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

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

                            "South Africa: Truckers Take to the Road for AIDS"
                            Africa News Service (www.africanews.org) (11/29/00); Harvey,
                            On Friday, World AIDS Day, 100 truck drivers will participate in
                            a special procession to South Africa's Department of Transport,
                            to highlight the spread of HIV infection among drivers in the
                            country. According to Marlea Clarke, a University of Capetown
                            researcher, three truck drivers die every day from AIDS-related
                            conditions. There are concerns that the drivers could be one of
                            the groups that have a key role on the spread of the virus in
                            South Africa, as prostitutes line major highways. Clarke noted
                            that the average truck driver spends three days or less at home
                            every month, and "there is [a] flourishing commercial sex network
                            along the freeway system in the region." Clarke said that mine
                            workers, who also visit sex workers frequently, are at risk for
                            HIV infection as well.
                          • Sara Hersey
                            I have a research question for anybody interested in the following article that Liz posted. How can UNAIDS measure new HIV infections with such authority?
                            Message 13 of 29 , Nov 30, 2000
                              I have a research question for anybody interested in the following article
                              that Liz posted. How can UNAIDS measure 'new' HIV infections with such
                              authority? Slightly sceptical but also interested in how they come about
                              these numbers - if anyone can enlighten me.

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

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                            • Paul DEVER
                              They go to a hospital this year on this day. They count the AIDS victims. Then they come back next month, next year, etc., and count the umber of cases, minus
                              Message 14 of 29 , Nov 30, 2000
                                They go to a hospital this year on this day. They count the AIDS victims.
                                Then they come back next month, next year, etc., and count the umber of
                                cases, minus the number who have died, then they have their new
                                number...Very scientific, just like their extrapolations of 33% infection
                                among city dwellers they were tossing around about five years back.

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                              • Bell, Elizabeth
                                AIDS Drugs for Africa Scientific American (www.sciam.com) (11/00) Vol. 283, No. 5, P. 98; Ezzell, Carol The AIDS epidemic in Africa faces many obstacles, but
                                Message 15 of 29 , Dec 8, 2000
                                  "AIDS Drugs for Africa"
                                  Scientific American (www.sciam.com) (11/00) Vol. 283, No. 5, P.
                                  98; Ezzell, Carol
                                  The AIDS epidemic in Africa faces many obstacles, but the
                                  chief one is finding affordable antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV
                                  transmission to newborns and to treat those already infected.
                                  Most developed nations now routinely offer antiviral therapies to
                                  HIV-infected mothers; however, there are few clinics in Africa
                                  that can offer the drugs to these women. Cost is a determining
                                  factor, as the drugs often cost more than many Africans'
                                  salaries. Five companies have agreed to cut their drug prices to
                                  Africa by 80 percent, but that alone will not be a solution.
                                  According to David Bloom, a professor at Harvard University
                                  School of Public Health, AIDS is tied into poverty and a lack of
                                  health infrastructure. Lower drug costs must be accompanied by
                                  testing to measure the drugs' success in each patient. Rampant
                                  poverty in South Africa makes the drug AZT unattainable. With
                                  the help of a discounted price, AZT costs 40 cents for each
                                  100-milligram pill. Nevirapine is another drug that offers hope
                                  to prevent HIV transmission to infants. It requires only three
                                  doses and has been shown to reduce transmission to 14 percent for
                                  a trial of 652 pregnant women. AZT, by contrast, requires months
                                  of treatment. South Africa has not accepted an offer of
                                  nevirapine from Boehringer Ingelheim, as Health Minister Manto
                                  Tshabalala-Msimang said they do not believe the only answer to
                                  AIDS is antiretroviral therapy. The government's plan to prevent
                                  HIV is to treat AIDS-related infections, and form home-based
                                  care, she said. Tshabalala-Msimang noted that even an 80 percent
                                  reduction in price would still not be affordable for the 4.2
                                  million HIV-infected individuals in South Africa. If the issue
                                  of price is ever overcome, patients would then face the need for
                                  resistance testing. HIV's ability to mutate quickly requires
                                  careful monitoring of a patient's therapy. Testing CD4 cells and
                                  viral load is expensive, however, and not stressed in places like
                                  Thailand. Christopher Ouma, a worker for Doctors Without Borders
                                  in Nairobi, Kenya, believes Africa cannot wait for viral load
                                  testing to become the norm, since they need the drugs now. And
                                  even after antivirals become widely available to Africa, the
                                  trick will be adhering to the difficult therapy, which requires a
                                  strict timetable and food requirements.

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

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

                                  "Bottled Up: As UNICEF Battles Baby-Formula Makers, African
                                  Infants Sicken"
                                  Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) (12/05/00) P. A1; Freedman,
                                  Alix M.; Stecklow, Steve
                                  Between 1.1 million and 1.7 million infants, mostly in Africa,
                                  have contracted HIV from breast-feeding. Often in the developing
                                  world, HIV-infected mothers are not told that infant formula is
                                  an alternative to breast-feeding that could help protect their
                                  children from AIDS. The issue has pitted the $3 billion
                                  infant-formula industry, which says it is prepared to donate
                                  loads of free formula to infected women, against UNICEF, which
                                  will not approve the donations because it does not want to
                                  support an industry that it has accused of abusive practices in
                                  developing nations. During the 1970s, Nestle SA and other
                                  formula companies aggressively promoted formula in developing
                                  nations; however, by the time the free samples were used up, the
                                  women were often no longer producing their own milk and the
                                  formula was too expensive for them to buy. As some women diluted
                                  the milk to make it last longer and some babies starved as a
                                  result, a global boycott of Nestle was organized by activists and
                                  UNICEF began to reject cash donations from any of the large
                                  formula makers--something it has also done with land mine
                                  producers and cigarette companies. In the 1980s, UNICEF and the
                                  World Health Organization developed a voluntary marketing code
                                  for formula makers, one which restricted advertising and
                                  virtually prohibited the distribution of free and low-cost
                                  formula. But that code was not developed with the AIDS epidemic
                                  in mind, and many experts say UNICEF should look past previous
                                  events to help poor mothers with HIV and their babies. However,
                                  UNICEF head Carol Bellamy asserts that "breast is best," and she
                                  points out that the lack of adequate sanitation in many areas
                                  poses its own risks for formula users, possibly exposing babies
                                  to diarrhea and other deadly diseases, while antibodies in breast
                                  milk could help prevent such illnesses. Research indicates that
                                  about 15 percent of HIV-infected pregnant women in Africa will
                                  transmit the virus to their infants via breast-feeding. UNICEF
                                  officials have also voiced concerns that giving formula to
                                  HIV-infected mothers could affect support for breast-feeding
                                  among healthy mothers. Two years ago, UNICEF and other United
                                  Nations agencies modified their position on breast-feeding in the
                                  developing world. The "informed choice" policy holds that
                                  infected women should be told about the benefits and risks of
                                  breast-feeding and of alternatives like formula, but the
                                  statement does not say how poor HIV-infected women who want to
                                  use formula are supposed to obtain it.
                                • Bell, Elizabeth
                                  Suddenly, a Plan to Treat AIDS in Africa Boston Globe (www.boston.com/globe) (02/13/01) P. A1; Donnelly, John In response to the recent pricing drop for AIDS
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Feb 15, 2001
                                    "Suddenly, a Plan to Treat AIDS in Africa"
                                    Boston Globe (www.boston.com/globe) (02/13/01) P. A1; Donnelly,
                                    In response to the recent pricing drop for AIDS drug cocktails in
                                    the world's poorest nations, economists, scientists, AIDS
                                    specialists and politicians have designed a "blueprint" for
                                    treatment to be used in countries where the greatest need is.
                                    The blueprint calls for wealthy nations to pay for the drugs,
                                    paring the price of AIDS cocktails down to $500 annually per
                                    patient, and the selection of two African nations and more than
                                    one dozen projects to be set up as working models. When
                                    successful, the models could be replicated and repeated across
                                    Africa. Initially, the projects will focus only on individuals
                                    with full-blown AIDS, and the plan also calls for piggybacking
                                    treatment with existing tuberculosis-control programs.

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

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

                                    "Zambia: Government Sets Aside K31 Billion for AIDS Fight"
                                    Africa News Service (www.africanews.org) (02/13/01)
                                    Zambia's finance and economic development deputy minister Godfrey
                                    Simasiku said the government has earmarked 31 billion kwacha for
                                    the battle against AIDS. Simasiku, speaking to group of
                                    businessmen and civic leaders at a budget meeting in Solwezi last
                                    Friday, also said that the number of AIDS orphans in the country
                                    could increase from about 700,000 now to 1 million in the next
                                    four to five years.
                                  • Bell, Elizabeth
                                    Toward a Global AIDS Fund New York Times (05.02.01) The public attention given in recent months to Africa s AIDS crisis has not been matched with money,
                                    Message 17 of 29 , May 2, 2001
                                      "Toward a Global AIDS Fund"
                                      New York Times (05.02.01)
                                      "The public attention given in recent months to Africa's
                                      AIDS crisis has not been matched with money," began the editors.
                                      "Last year the world spent about $1 billion on AIDS in
                                      developing countries-a sum that will not even buy adequate
                                      prevention campaigns, much less health infrastructure, care for
                                      AIDS orphans and necessary medicines for the sick." The editors
                                      noted UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's speech last week at the
                                      African AIDS summit in Nigeria, which "lays out a solid basis
                                      for a global attack on AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria." In his
                                      speech, Annan called for a global AIDS fund totaling $7 billion
                                      to $10 billion a year to help stem the epidemic.
                                      The editors projected how a global AIDS fund would be used.
                                      "At least initially," they wrote, "a large part of the money
                                      will go toward building a health infrastructure in the African
                                      nations most ravaged by AIDS." The editors are encouraged that
                                      "African leaders from 43 nations have pledged to increase their
                                      spending on health, and especially on AIDS," which "is a welcome
                                      sign that African leaders are taking AIDS and health issues more
                                      But the global AIDS fund will depend on more than Africa's
                                      commitment to improving its AIDS-fighting programs, and the
                                      editors fear that US contributions won't be enough. "The global
                                      AIDS fund ... is likely to be handicapped by a lack of leadership
                                      from the United States. While Bush administration officials speak
                                      about AIDS as a catastrophe, the president's 2002 budget adds
                                      less than 10 percent to this year's spending for AIDS overseas....
                                      Former President Clinton suggested to the Nigeria AIDS conference
                                      that Washington should provide a quarter of the global AIDS fund.
                                      President Bush's budget falls more than $1 billion short of
                                      that," the editors concluded.

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

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

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

                                      "IMF Urges Countries to Contribute to AIDS Fund"
                                      Associated Press (05.01.01) Harry Dunphy
                                      At the conclusion of the spring meetings of the
                                      International Monetary Fund and World Bank, finance ministers and
                                      central bank governors announced their support for the
                                      establishment of a global fund to combat AIDS and other diseases.
                                      The ministers pledged there would be a substantial increase in
                                      funds to fight AIDS and other infectious diseases in poor
                                      countries. "What's clear now is that the commitment is growing
                                      by leaps and bounds, particularly among finance ministers in the
                                      industrialized countries as we saw this weekend," said Chris
                                      Lovelace, director of World Bank's unit for health, population
                                      and nutrition.
                                    • Bell, Elizabeth
                                      I have a new hero: Catholic Bishops to Fight AIDS South African Press Association (07.27.01) Catholic bishops from across southern Africa gathered on
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Jul 30, 2001
                                        I have a new hero:

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

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

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