: views from the Hill

Friday, December 01, 2006

World AIDS Day 2006

No, we're not celebrating HIV/AIDS. Today is the day to gen up on the subject.


Nearly 40 million people worldwide live with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, 2.6 million more than in 2004. Sub-Saharan Africa remains worst hit with 24.7 million people infected.

Of the 2.9 million global deaths from AIDS last year, 2.1 million occurred in Africa, U.N. figures show.
[ref: Reuters]

5.7m people are infected in India.

5.5m (almost 19%) of South Africans have HIV/AIDS. 600-800 people a day die of AIDS in South Africa.

A couple years back I heard Stephen Lewis, the UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, give a talk at AAAS. No, not "a talk," a call to arms.

Lewis told of grandparents taking care of their underaged grandchildren because all of their children have died of AIDS. What happens when the grandparents, or whatever other adults have been handling that foster role, die? What is happening to sub-Saharan Africa as it loses its adult population to this disease and its children are raising themselves and each other?

Lewis railed against those who aren't part of the solution, smarmy tokenism and gender inequality at the AIDS 2006 conference in Toronto, August 2006. [~30 min]

Lewis is leaving his post this month. What then? Who?

Learn more.

No comments: