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AIDS in Africa

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  • 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 1 of 29 , Aug 18, 2000
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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 2 of 29 , Aug 24, 2000
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        "Loans to Buy AIDS Drugs Are Rejected by Africans"
        New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (08/22/00) P. A6; Swarns, Rachel
        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 3 of 29 , Aug 29, 2000
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          "Gates Foundation on Big Funding Spree"
          Science (www.sciencemag.org) (08/11/00) Vol. 289, No. 5481, P.
          845; Hagmann, Michael
          The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has made several large
          donations for health studies recently. These include $40 million
          for the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to study
          malaria, $44.7 million for the Harvard Medical School for
          tuberculosis (TB), $20 million to Johns Hopkins School of Public
          Health for child and maternal health, and $90 million for
          HIV/AIDS-related studies at a number of institutions. Jim Yong
          Kim of Harvard Medical School--working with the World Health
          Organization, local health officials, and others--will be
          investigating a treatment program for multidrug-resistant TB
          patients in Peru.

          "President Urges Nigeria to Fight Tyranny of AIDS"
          New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (08/28/00) P. A1; Lacey, Marc
          President Clinton, in his visit to Nigeria this week, has
          urged the country to confront AIDS and overcome taboos. This is a
          challenge not just for Nigeria but for all of Africa, which has
          been slow to educate its people about AIDS and the virus that
          causes the disease. Clinton said, "We have to break the silence
          about how this disease spreads and how to prevent it. And we
          need to fight AIDS, not people with AIDS." Clinton offered
          American support for Nigeria's battle against AIDS, but he did
          not offer any new funding. He did, however, discuss the $20
          million the United States is providing to control AIDS, malaria,
          and polio in Nigeria this year. Clinton stated that freedom for
          Nigeria would come only after infectious diseases are controlled.
          Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo also urged debt relief for
          his country. He noted, "We don't see [AIDS] as a Nigerian
          disease. We see it as a world disease that is ravaging Africa
          most." According to the White House, approximately 5.4 percent
          of Nigeria's 114 million people are infected with HIV.
        • Bell, Elizabeth
          African Leaders to Meet Annan, Discuss Flash Points Reuters (www.reuters.com) (09/05/00); Mseteka, Buchizya The presidents of South Africa, Malawi, Namibia,
          Message 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 of 29 , Jul 30 9:45 AM
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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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