transfusions and contaminated syringes should be a new focus
in the fight against AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, which has
the world's highest HIV infection rates, the top U.S.
AIDS official said on Wednesday.
Mark Dybul, the
U.S. Global AIDS coordinator, said evidence suggests that
sexual transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is
stabilizing in sub-Saharan Africa thanks to education
programs. But he said the new task is to stop
infections through blood transfusions--difficult for
poor countries saddled with both decrepit medical
facilities and HIV infection rates as high as 40% in
treatment for HIV/AIDS is to prevent people from getting
it, and that's why we need this comprehensive response,"
Dybul told reporters. "We also need to work on
Dybul, in Zambia
for a four-day visit to assess HIV/AIDS programs in the
southern African country, said Washington would give Zambia
a total of $570 million in the four years to 2007 to
fight the pandemic. One in five of Zambia's 10 million
people has either HIV or AIDS, according to official
Much of the U.S.
money goes to the Maina Soko military hospital in
Lusaka, one of Zambia's best facilities, which is open only
to military personnel and their families.
Dybul toured its
HIV clinic and laboratories fitted with equipment to
screen blood for HIV--a relative rarity in Zambian
hospitals, where doctors often have to boil syringes
for reuse on other patients, and medicines, including
HIV drugs, are in short supply.
African countries to build on programs that urge sexual
abstinence and condom use and address nonsexual HIV
transmission, both in hospitals and from mother to
sub-Saharan Africa has seen good progress," he said.
"Young men and women are changing their behavior.... We are
seeing rapid expansions of country programs. A lot
more needs to be done, but people of Zambia and
sub-Saharan Africa are making success," he added.