More Zimbabweans Die of AIDS-Related Causes Each Week Than in Election-Related Violence, AFP Reports
About 2,000 people in Zimbabwe die of AIDS-related causes each week compared to about four people a week who are killed in election-related violence, Agence France-Presse reports. President Robert Mugabe of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and challenger Morgan Tsvangirai of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change have largely ignored HIV/AIDS issue during the campaign leading up to this weekend's election. About 31 people have died in widely reported violence related to the election since the beginning of the year, while about 8,000 people die of AIDS-related causes each month, according to UNAIDS. The MDC said in its election manifesto that it "recognizes the disastrous impact the AIDS pandemic is having on ordinary Zimbabweans and will commit substantial investment to policy solutions aimed at tackling this pandemic," as well as "make every effort to ensure that AIDS drugs are made available and affordable" to all citizens. Mugabe's ZANU-PF called HIV/AIDS a "national disaster" and vowed to "continue to invest in preventive and promotive health services." About 25% of Zimbabwe's adult population is HIV-positive, and the nation's life expectancy is expected to drop from a 1997 level of 66 years to 35 years or less by the end of the decade (Agence France-Presse, 3/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.