By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com August 19 2003 11:00 PM ET
A six-member Republican congressional delegation headed by Senate majority leader Bill Frist of Tennessee left Tuesday for Africa to meet with government and health officials to discuss HIV prevention and treatment on the AIDS-ravaged continent. The lawmakers will visit South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, and Namibia and plan to meet with government and public health officials and doctors as well as with HIV-positive people in each country. Joining Frist in Africa are senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Michael Enzi of Wyoming, and John Warner of Virginia. Coleman, whose sister and brother-in-law died of AIDS-related complications, told the St. Paul, Minn. Pioneer Press that one of his main goals in Congress is to fight the spread of AIDS in the United States and around the world: "It affects men, it affects women, it affects gays, it affects straights, it affects young and old, and Africa is a case study of that. I see myself as having an opportunity to fight this plague, and this is part of it." The group will return to the United States on August 29.