AIDS drugs not turning things around in Africa

The UPI has this report of a paper recently published:

“Doctors say AIDS is spreading in Africa faster than clinics can treat it, despite billions of dollars spent expanding access to antiretroviral drugs.

‘At the moment, I just see a never-ending sea of disaster,’ Francois Venter, president of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society, told The New York Times.

U.N. reports say that for every South African who started taking antiretroviral drugs last year, five others contracted HIV, the newspaper said Wednesday.

Researchers say a South African turning 15 today has a nearly 50 percent chance of contracting the virus in his or her lifetime.

Doctors said the problem isn’t a lack of AIDS drugs, it is the inability of prevention programs to curb the behavior driving the epidemic. “

As far as I know, the only country in Africa which has made any real dent in the numbers of AIDS related deaths is Uganda. And Uganda did it by putting together a plan which focused on changing peoples sexual behaviors – and primarily focusing on abstinence. It uses the ancient teaching of the Christian church as a way to deal with both a modern cultural emphasis on “easy sex” along with the old African tradition of polygamy. (The tribal tradition of polygamy is a major contributor to the frightening AIDS infection rate in Swaziland – a place that is more connected to its ancient tribal roots than is Uganda.)

Read the rest here: AIDS drugs not stopping epidemic in Africa

Author: Nicholas Knisely

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...