AIDS cuts average lifespan in Africa to 30-year low
BY Advocate.com Editors
December 20 2003 1:00 AM ET
AIDS is now the world's leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 59 and has dropped adult lifespan rates in AIDS-ravaged sub-Saharan Africa to 30-year lows, The New York Times reports. A World Health Organization report shows that worldwide, AIDS-related deaths were almost double that of the number 2 killer--heart disease--and well over twice the number of the world's number 3 killer--tuberculosis. Life expectancy in Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe has dropped more than 20 years because of AIDS. In Zimbabwe, the average life expectancy is now just 37.9 years, less than half that for adults in Western nations.