South African Government ‘Never Denied’ HIV/AIDS Problem, South African Ambassador Says
The South African government "has never denied that it has an HIV/AIDS problem," Ambassador of South Africa Sheila Sisulu writes in a New York Times letter to the editor in response to a Dec. 13 Times editorial. The editorial said that South Africa is the "most notorious example" of a country denying its HIV/AIDS problem. According to Sisulu, South Africa's HIV/AIDS program "has been designed and carried out under government leadership, with financing increasing more than tenfold since the current government took leadership in 1994." The South African government has demonstrated its "commitment" to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the country by addressing "social deprivation, unemployment and widespread poverty" -- all factors that "fuel" the spread of HIV -- through "programs that focus on prevention, care, treatment of opportunistic infections, addressing discrimination and providing financing for research into a vaccine for the viral strain prevalent in southern Africa," Sisulu concludes (Sisulu, New York Times, 12/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.