Head of International Red Cross Urges Continued Focus on HIV/AIDS in Africa
The president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on Thursday urged the world not to let the current focus on terrorism detract from the ongoing problem of HIV/AIDS in Africa, the U.N. Integrated Regional Information Network/allAfrica.com reports. At the start of her trip to Kenya, where roughly 600 people die each day as a result of the epidemic, Dr. Astrid Heiberg said, "Let us not forget that almost as many people will die in Africa this year from HIV/AIDS as did in the entire Vietnam War, almost three million people." The 53 societies of the International Federation are undertaking a 10-year campaign to train two million volunteers to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa. "[W]e aim to break the silence by overcoming the stigma which still surrounds AIDS, to advocate for treatment to allow parents to bring up their children and thus limit the number of orphans and reduce the immensity of suffering across this great continent," Heiberg said (U.N. IRIN/allAfrica.com, 10/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.