Scroll To Top

Africa launches
push to stem HIV infections

Africa launches
push to stem HIV infections

On Tuesday in Johannesburg, South Africa, the African Union said HIV prevention programs that focus on education, counseling, testing, and condom distribution could stop 29 million of the 45 million new infections predicted to occur globally between 2002 and 2010.

Working with several United Nations agencies, the A.U. launched a drive to halt infections. "Africa must now seize the moment to stop HIV," said A.U. Commission chairman Alpha Konare.

With worldwide attention focused on access to antiretroviral treatment on the continent, new HIV infections continue to spread in much of Africa. The new campaign highlights the need for stepped-up HIV prevention and testing and coordinated education campaigns in 2006.

South African health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said a focus on prevention is long overdue. "Over the past years there has been a great deal of engagement over the issues relating only to access to treatment," she said, alluding to South Africa's slow rollout of public antiretroviral treatment. "Let us all support this endeavor to ensure that prevention reassumes its rightful position as the mainstay of the global response to HIV and AIDS," said Tshabalala-Msimang, whose government has come under fire for failing to respond to what is the largest national HIV caseload in the world.

Angelique Kidjo, an African pop superstar and UNICEF goodwill ambassador who attended the launch, said the A.U. initiative must also address gender inequities found in many African countries. Experts say the huge social inequity between men and women is a big reason African women are more affected by HIV.

"We Africans have to be able to deal with our problems," said Kidjo. "Help from outside is all right, but we have to learn to be responsible for our own attitudes." (Reuters)

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Outtraveler Staff