More Than ‘Tears’ Needed to Conquer AIDS in Africa
"Tears are appropriate, but ... they won't stop the AIDS epidemic in Africa or elsewhere," Australian immunologist and University of New South Wales professor John Dwyer writes in a Sydney Morning Herald op-ed. Commenting on the recent African Development Forum 2000, Dwyer said that, in the four days of the conference, 22,000 Africans died of AIDS and 44,000 new infections occurred. The leaders of the forum are now calling for another meeting "so that this time, perhaps decisively, strategies can be developed that are likely to produce the political commitment needed to stop the devastation being caused by HIV on the African continent," Dwyer writes. Many feel emotions of "hopelessness" when faced with these "appalling" statistics, which sometimes prevent them from rethinking and reenergizing efforts to combat the epidemic. Some countries, however, have responded to the problem. The "most impressive" leader at the forum was Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, leader of a country that has "adequately if belatedly responded to the crisis," Dwyer states. The next AIDS summit for national leaders in April could prove promising, since it will precede a "detail[ed]" examination of HIV/AIDS by the United Nations Security Council, Dwyer concludesThis is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.