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the long war

From The Economist: The Long War

"Just a reminder. Some 40m people are infected with HIV, the AIDS virus. Another 20m have died of it already. Around 3m more will do so over the next 12 months. That is nearly 9,000 a day—three times as many people as died in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre last September. Every day, 15,000 more people are infected. Unless things change a lot for the better, almost all of them will die of it, too"

AIDS is certainly the worst problem (in health terms or otherwise) in the world today, and it's getting worse. As the article says:
"At the moment, the worst affected countries are in Africa. Some places have infection rates that are above 30%, or even 40%, of the adult population—and still rising. Cynics in the West might write Africa off. Are China, India, Indonesia and Russia to be written off as well?"

Rich countries in the West might have no problems "writing Africa off". But what will they do if HIV mutates and becomes airborne, for example? Even without such an event, HIV infection rates in the US have stopped the downward trend of the last decade and are inching up again. What will it take for the world to react?

Pandemic: Facing AIDS is another good source of information, supported by UNAIDS and several other groups, foundations and corporations.

Sesame Street will apparently try a new strategy to educate kids on at least some of the issues related to AIDS. I say "some" because while a puppet might be a good way to show that people with HIV are no different than any other people and should not be treated differently it seems to me that it would create quite a confusion on the transmission side of the disease. I mean, how does a puppet get AIDS? Do they think that kids are stupid, that kids think that puppets have blood, saliva, etc?

Oh, and, by the way, this is for South Africa and other "developing" countries only. Kids in the western cultures apparently grow up with a perfect understanding of HIV, AIDS, and they have no prejudices whatsoever.

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on July 12 2002 at 5:08 PM

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