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  • 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 1 of 29 , Sep 10, 2000
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      Howdy to all of you in ujeni world. I am sending this lettle update as I
      am changing all of my addresses. Email jsrinbf@.... Snailmail is
      jsr/BP110/Kaya/Burkina Faso. I have to mosey off to the A's game
      now...the mighty Devil Rays are in town. Love to all.

    • Bell, Elizabeth
      Nurse in Malawi Wages War on AIDS and Apathy New York times (www.nytimes.com) (11/07/00) P. A12; Crossette, Barbara Nurse Catherine Phiri of Malawi
      Message 2 of 29 , Nov 8, 2000
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        "Nurse in Malawi Wages War on AIDS and Apathy"
        New York times (www.nytimes.com) (11/07/00) P. A12; Crossette,
        Nurse Catherine Phiri of Malawi contracted HIV during the
        rule of Hastings Kamuzu Banda, who prohibited any public discussion
        of the disease. When a democratic government took over in 1994,
        Phiri founded a support group for anyone affected by HIV, and
        last month, she received a Race Against Poverty Award from the
        United Nations Development Program and UNAIDS. Phiri said the
        new president of Malawi, Bakili Muluzi, has helped increase
        awareness about HIV and AIDS. She also noted that the press is
        now free enough to help show residents the extent of the problem
        in the country, where 25 percent of the urban work force is
        expected to die from AIDS within 10 years. Phiri said, "I hope
        that we will be recognized by being given the award, and that the
        government will now have something to do with us. ... I've been
        writing [the president] proposals that have never been answered."
        The three other recipients of the Race Against Povery Awards were
        Maire Bopp Dupont, a radio journalist who has worked to inform
        Pacific islanders about AIDS; Rita Arauz, a Nicaraguan
        psychologist who set up a foundation to study and deal with HIV
        and other sexually transmitted infections; and the Rev. Arkadiusz
        Nowak, a priest who opened the first AIDS hospice in Poland.

        "AIDS Smothers African Kingdom; Swaziland: AIDS Is Destroying a
        Baltimore Sun (www.sunspot.net) (11/04/00) P. 1A; Murphy, John
        Swaziland, located between South Africa and Mozambique, has
        been ineffective at responding to the AIDS epidemic thus far. The
        latest measures involved parliament banning miniskirts in schools
        to reduce sex between teachers and students. AIDS activists in
        Swaziland struggle against the country's traditions and shame
        surrounding AIDS. Out of a population of 1 million, an estimated
        22 percent are infected with HIV, and 40 percent of all pregnant
        women are HIV-positive. According to Christabel Motsa,
        chairwoman of the government's crisis committee on disease,
        people there are afraid to talk about AIDS and deny that it is a
        problem. Tradition is hard to overcome, as the kingdom is ruled
        by a monarch with seven wives. Polygamy is rampant in rural
        areas, and contraceptives are ignored. King Mswati declared HIV
        a national disaster last year and has urged HIV testing, but
        proposals to place HIV-infected people in camps or sterile them
        highlight the mindset of the kingdom. Without frank talk about
        AIDS, little prevention or treatment can be reached. Motsa is
        worried that her group's five-year plan to fight AIDS will be
        overshadowed by odd suggestions from lawmakers. The nation's
        plan will center on AIDS prevention and education of traditional
      • Bell, Elizabeth
        African and US Leaders Sign Agreement on AIDS Reuters Health Information Services (www.reutershealth.com) (11/16/00); Clark, Margaret A. A new document
        Message 3 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 4 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 5 of 29 , Nov 30, 2000
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              "South African Village Prepares for First HIV Vaccine Trial"
              Nature Medicine (medicine.nature.com) (11/00) Vol. 6, No. 11, P.
              1199; Connett, Harold
              South Africa's Medical Research Council plans to begin HIV
              vaccine trials in February 2001, with phase III tests slated for
              completion by 2005. The trial will test a Venezuelan equine
              encephalitis (VEE) virus vaccine, which uses an attenuated form
              of VEE with genes from subtype C isolates of South African
              seroconverters. Robert Olmstead, vice president at AlphaVax the
              vaccine producer, said that VEE targets lymphoid tissue and will
              be a good source. The South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative is
              funding development of the vaccine, together with the U.S.
              National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the
              International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. Informing trial subjects
              regarding the vaccine has been a careful process, requiring the
              trust of South African tribal leaders. Hlabisa, which is located
              about four hours from Durban, is the site of the phase II and III
              trials. Health workers have been training educators to reach the
              Hlabisa area, using song and dance to communicate HIV prevention messages.

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

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

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

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

              "South Africa: Truckers Take to the Road for AIDS"
              Africa News Service (www.africanews.org) (11/29/00); Harvey,
              On Friday, World AIDS Day, 100 truck drivers will participate in
              a special procession to South Africa's Department of Transport,
              to highlight the spread of HIV infection among drivers in the
              country. According to Marlea Clarke, a University of Capetown
              researcher, three truck drivers die every day from AIDS-related
              conditions. There are concerns that the drivers could be one of
              the groups that have a key role on the spread of the virus in
              South Africa, as prostitutes line major highways. Clarke noted
              that the average truck driver spends three days or less at home
              every month, and "there is [a] flourishing commercial sex network
              along the freeway system in the region." Clarke said that mine
              workers, who also visit sex workers frequently, are at risk for
              HIV infection as well.
            • Sara Hersey
              I have a research question for anybody interested in the following article that Liz posted. How can UNAIDS measure new HIV infections with such authority?
              Message 6 of 29 , Nov 30, 2000
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                I have a research question for anybody interested in the following article
                that Liz posted. How can UNAIDS measure 'new' HIV infections with such
                authority? Slightly sceptical but also interested in how they come about
                these numbers - if anyone can enlighten me.

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

                Get more from the Web. FREE MSN Explorer download : http://explorer.msn.com
              • 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 7 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.

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

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

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

                    "Bottled Up: As UNICEF Battles Baby-Formula Makers, African
                    Infants Sicken"
                    Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) (12/05/00) P. A1; Freedman,
                    Alix M.; Stecklow, Steve
                    Between 1.1 million and 1.7 million infants, mostly in Africa,
                    have contracted HIV from breast-feeding. Often in the developing
                    world, HIV-infected mothers are not told that infant formula is
                    an alternative to breast-feeding that could help protect their
                    children from AIDS. The issue has pitted the $3 billion
                    infant-formula industry, which says it is prepared to donate
                    loads of free formula to infected women, against UNICEF, which
                    will not approve the donations because it does not want to
                    support an industry that it has accused of abusive practices in
                    developing nations. During the 1970s, Nestle SA and other
                    formula companies aggressively promoted formula in developing
                    nations; however, by the time the free samples were used up, the
                    women were often no longer producing their own milk and the
                    formula was too expensive for them to buy. As some women diluted
                    the milk to make it last longer and some babies starved as a
                    result, a global boycott of Nestle was organized by activists and
                    UNICEF began to reject cash donations from any of the large
                    formula makers--something it has also done with land mine
                    producers and cigarette companies. In the 1980s, UNICEF and the
                    World Health Organization developed a voluntary marketing code
                    for formula makers, one which restricted advertising and
                    virtually prohibited the distribution of free and low-cost
                    formula. But that code was not developed with the AIDS epidemic
                    in mind, and many experts say UNICEF should look past previous
                    events to help poor mothers with HIV and their babies. However,
                    UNICEF head Carol Bellamy asserts that "breast is best," and she
                    points out that the lack of adequate sanitation in many areas
                    poses its own risks for formula users, possibly exposing babies
                    to diarrhea and other deadly diseases, while antibodies in breast
                    milk could help prevent such illnesses. Research indicates that
                    about 15 percent of HIV-infected pregnant women in Africa will
                    transmit the virus to their infants via breast-feeding. UNICEF
                    officials have also voiced concerns that giving formula to
                    HIV-infected mothers could affect support for breast-feeding
                    among healthy mothers. Two years ago, UNICEF and other United
                    Nations agencies modified their position on breast-feeding in the
                    developing world. The "informed choice" policy holds that
                    infected women should be told about the benefits and risks of
                    breast-feeding and of alternatives like formula, but the
                    statement does not say how poor HIV-infected women who want to
                    use formula are supposed to obtain it.
                  • Bell, Elizabeth
                    Suddenly, a Plan to Treat AIDS in Africa Boston Globe (www.boston.com/globe) (02/13/01) P. A1; Donnelly, John In response to the recent pricing drop for AIDS
                    Message 9 of 29 , Feb 15, 2001
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                      "Suddenly, a Plan to Treat AIDS in Africa"
                      Boston Globe (www.boston.com/globe) (02/13/01) P. A1; Donnelly,
                      In response to the recent pricing drop for AIDS drug cocktails in
                      the world's poorest nations, economists, scientists, AIDS
                      specialists and politicians have designed a "blueprint" for
                      treatment to be used in countries where the greatest need is.
                      The blueprint calls for wealthy nations to pay for the drugs,
                      paring the price of AIDS cocktails down to $500 annually per
                      patient, and the selection of two African nations and more than
                      one dozen projects to be set up as working models. When
                      successful, the models could be replicated and repeated across
                      Africa. Initially, the projects will focus only on individuals
                      with full-blown AIDS, and the plan also calls for piggybacking
                      treatment with existing tuberculosis-control programs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

                        "IMF Urges Countries to Contribute to AIDS Fund"
                        Associated Press (05.01.01) Harry Dunphy
                        At the conclusion of the spring meetings of the
                        International Monetary Fund and World Bank, finance ministers and
                        central bank governors announced their support for the
                        establishment of a global fund to combat AIDS and other diseases.
                        The ministers pledged there would be a substantial increase in
                        funds to fight AIDS and other infectious diseases in poor
                        countries. "What's clear now is that the commitment is growing
                        by leaps and bounds, particularly among finance ministers in the
                        industrialized countries as we saw this weekend," said Chris
                        Lovelace, director of World Bank's unit for health, population
                        and nutrition.
                      • Bell, Elizabeth
                        I have a new hero: Catholic Bishops to Fight AIDS South African Press Association (07.27.01) Catholic bishops from across southern Africa gathered on
                        Message 11 of 29 , Jul 30, 2001
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                          I have a new hero:

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

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

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