Tag Archives: AIDS

The Tragedy Of AIDS In Africa

The other day, President Obama said the future of Africa was in the hands of Africans, but what happens when Africans ignore the realities of 21st century life? Rates of HIV infections among gays in many African countries are 10 times those of the general male population. Most experts on the issue blame fear of being stigmatized as gay as well as poverty and lack of ready access to doctors for this figure. A wall of silence, repression, and discrimination face anyone who admits to being a gay or lesbian which compels many to accept illness to the shame of being exposed for their sexual beliefs. A recent story in Lancet notes, “unprotected anal sex is commonplace, knowledge and access to appropriate risk prevention measures are inadequate.”

Hopefully, the Bush era of refusing to support providing condoms and other health measures will assist many males to obtain access to what they must use while engaged in sex. However, personal feelings of shame will not go away until their individual societies begin to make changes.

Pope Warns Of Evils Impacting Africa

Pope Benedict XVI on his trip to Africa warned the people of Angola the African continent faced the “clouds of evil” which he termed to be war, greed, and tribalism. He made a powerful statement about the clouds of evil which he noted are, “the evil of war, the murderous fruits of tribalism and ethnic rivalry, the greed which corrupts men’s hearts, enslaves the poor and robs future generations of the resources they need to create a more equitable and just society.” His words were powerful, but missing from the “clouds of evil” was any mention of the most powerful force playing upon the African continent — the could of AIDS which has caused the death of millions.

Pope Benedict has an opportunity to assist the people of Africa to confront disease, but to do so, he must shift his ideas concerning sexual behavior and support the need for condoms and extensive sex education. Can he be a Pope who cares even if the price is abandoning set beliefs?

AIDs Resistance Resists Cure Efforts

The war on Aids in Africa has encountered a new enemy– the patient. New reports indicate more and more patients are developing a resistance to drugs and making them less effective as a means of curing people of the disease. According to Dr. Issac Malinza, an HIV specialist, “when patients experience the side effects of any drug, it predisposes them to resist complying with treatment, hence drug resistance. The government of Kenya is considering making drastic changes in drug treatment for the Aids disease.

Sources claim the World Health Organization has recognized the problem and is developing new drug programs that will overcome the resistance. It becomes increasingly clear the world has yet to find a cure and the remedies in effect run the risk of confronting resistance to the cure. What then?

South African Hysteria Over Aids

South African supporters of Jacob Zuma who is the candidate of the African National Congress for president are claiming their leader has been unjustly accused of corruption by the Scorpions. The Scorpions, which is a special crime fighting unit of the Souther African police, has played a prominent role in uncovering evidence against Zuma about corruption and bribery on his part. Zuma supporters claim the CIA and the British MI5 have worked with the Scorpions to spread AIds in Africa. They want to know why the Scorpions have not investigated the origin of Aids in Africa and should focus on topics like that instead of picking on poor Jacob Zuma.

The South African Democratic Alliance believes the Scorpions are vitally needed because of their success in crushing organized crime. The Eastern Cape Democratic Alliance believes “given the high levels of organized crime and corruption” it is vital to have the Scorpions.

It is unfortunate that some South African leaders are caught up in the fancy the origin of Aids is somehow connected to the CIA.

UN Urges Russia To Fight AIDS Now

UN AIDS chief, Peter Piot urged the Russian government to combat HIV/AIDs in a more aggressive manner or risk undoing its program of prevention. He said not enough was being done to assist those who have the disease. Russia ranks behind Southeast Asia and sub-Sahara Africa with the highest rate of people infected with the disease. It lies on the main trafficking rute from Afghanistan to Europe which dramatically increases the probability millions will be infected with disease. Piot is mainly concerned over failure of the Russian government to invest in clinics where heroin users can take the opiate substitute methadone in a clean controlled environment-a technique which has reduced HIV infections in Europe and North America.”If you don’t supplly clean needles, if you don’t supply methadone, you can’t control the epidemic,” said Piot.

One of the tragedies of the Putin administration has been its failure to pour millions into the health system resulting in a collapse of a health care system which once was noted for its efficiency.

AIDS On Rise In China

China is experiencing a dramatic rise in its rate of AIDS with figures rising on a continual basis. In 1998, the rate of infections among drug users was 1.95% but it rose to 7.5% in 2006. it is estimated the rate of infections among homosexuals ranges anywhere from 1% to 4%, and the upper range is most probably a conservative estimate. The ineffectiveness in China of combating the disease undoubtedly stems from inadequate eduction, failure to communicate information, and insufficient health care facilities in rural regions of the nation. The collapse of old fashioned Mao tse-tung communism in China has impacted health care in rural areas more than urban.

South African President Blasts AIDs As White Plot Against Blacks!

President Thabo Mbeki considers himself an “Aids dissenter” who allowed the Cabinet to overcome his beliefs that Aids was part of a conspiracy by the white world to destroy black Africans. He urged his biographer, Mark Gevisser, to read a 100 page paper secretly authored by Mbeki several years ago which he distributed anonymously to members of the african National Congress. The paper compared Aids scientists to latter-day Nazi concentration-camp doctors and portrayed b lack people who accepted orthodox Aids science as “self-repressed” victims of a slave mentality. The paper described the HIV/Aids thesis as entrenched in “centuries-old-white racial beliefs and concepts about Africans.” According to Mbeki, whites are trying to convince Africans that HIV/Aids is a major problem in order to divert attention from issues like globalisation, unemployment, and racism. He accused those who opposed his views like Nelson Mandela as being in the pay of drug companies.

There is sadness in describing the insane ideas of a prominent African leader who played a vital role in establishing democracy in South Africa. Somehow, this intelligent man got caught up in conspiracy theories and could not escape the corrosive effects of racism which warped his way of thinking. In the end, it is estimated millions have died due to his refusal to implement an Aids program. Even today, the Aids campaign in South Africa is caught up in controversy since Mbeki’s health minister shares his strange ideas.

UN Envoy To Africa Blasts South African HIV/Aids Policies

Stephen Lewis, the UN special envoy to Africa, told the International Aids Conference in Toronto the South African government is expounding HIV/Aids theories “more worthy of a lunatic fringe than a concerned and compassionate state.” President Mbeki of South Africa is well known for his unorthodox views which claim Aids is a western world attack on Africa that can be combated by natural remedies. Lewis noted between 600-800 people die daily from these diseases, and he decried the arrest of members of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) who were protesting the bizarre ideas of South Africa’s Minister of Health, Mano Tshabalala-Msimag. She believes all problems related to HIV/Aids can be cured by having people adopt the right nutrition program.

The president of South Africa has fired any minister of Health who advocates known successful methods of dealing with HICV/Aids. He plays along with ideas of abstinence although Stephen Lewis pointed out “abstinence only programs do not work.” The tragedy for any HIV/Aids program in South Africa is the government, not public support for the effort. Hopefully, with the end of his current term, a new president might actually listen to scientific evidence rather than spout rhetoric of natural remedies.