HIV/AIDS Threatens International Security, Could ‘Destroy the Global Economy,’ U.N. Deputy Secretary General Says
HIV/AIDS could "destroy the global economy" and threatens to disrupt international efforts to combat terrorism, U.N. Deputy Secretary General Louise Frechette told delegates on Monday at a meeting of the International Chamber of Commerce in Denver, the Denver Post reports. Private businesses need to undertake HIV/AIDS education, prevention, counseling and treatment initiatives to combat the disease and keep it from doing further damage to the economy, she said, noting that one such employer-based program sponsored by a Brazilian automobile company led to a "sharp decrease" in the number of new HIV cases among workers. Frechette said that HIV/AIDS is "killing people in the prime of their lives" and noted that the disease has affected people from all walks of life around the world. Although the epidemic is felt the most in developing nations, she warned American businesses not to become complacent because the threat in the United States is by "no means over." Frechette also praised the Denver and Africa Against AIDS initiative set up by Mayor Wellington Webb (D) and his wife as an example of the "kind of initiative by political leaders and citizens needed to overcome this disease." Webb drew criticism earlier this year for combining a trade trip to Africa with a humanitarian mission that donated $15,000 raised by Denver sports teams to African organizations fighting the disease (Brovsky, Denver Post, 5/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.