Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
South African AIDS ‘Champion’ Nkosi Johnson Turns 12
Nkosi Johnson, South Africa's longest-surviving child born with AIDS and "champio[n]" of the HIV-infected youth cause, celebrated his 12th birthday yesterday, although he was too ill to attend birthday party held in his honor, AP/Nando Times reports. Nkosi came to international attention when he spoke at the 13th International AIDS Conference in Durban last summer, urging citizens not to "shun" people with HIV and "press[ing]" the government to provide antiretroviral drugs to pregnant, HIV-positive women (AP/Nando Times, 2/4). Often compared to American teen Ryan White, a "powerful symbol for AIDS sufferers," Nkosi's case "forced" the South African Department of Education to institute an anti-discrimination policy and permit children with HIV to attend any school (Killion, MSNBC.com, 2/4). Nkosi was hospitalized in December with AIDS-related brain damage and viral infections, and doctors did not expect him to reach his 12th birthday (AP/Nando Times, 2/4).
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