Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
UNAIDS Calls Attention to ‘Dual Tragedy’ of HIV/AIDS in Africa at World Food Summit
UNAIDS today, on the third day of the U.N. World Food Summit, "raised the alarm" that HIV/AIDS in Africa is a "dual tragedy" that is killing millions of people and contributing to the current food crisis in the southern region of the continent, the Associated Press reports. The agency added that the two issues -- HIV/AIDS and hunger -- should be jointly handled. "Where lack of food is greatest, HIV prevalence is alarmingly high," Marika Fahlen, head of social mobilization at UNAIDS, said, adding, "Because of AIDS, farming skills have been lost, agricultural extension services have declined, rural livelihoods have disintegrated, productive capacity to work the land has dropped and household earnings are shrinking while the cost of caring for the ill skyrockets." Although the U.N. World Food Summit final declaration includes a mention that HIV/AIDS "can have a particularly devastating impact on food security," Fahlen said the summit should "take a more forceful action to reverse the toll that has already been taken on the continent" (Winfield, Associated Press, 6/12). In the 25 African nations "hardest hit" by HIV/AIDS, seven million farmers have died from AIDS-related illnesses since 1985, and 16 million more agricultural workers are expected to die from AIDS-related illnesses in the next 20 years (Brough, Reuters, 6/12). WAMU's "Public Interest with Kojo Nnamdi," a syndicated show on NPR, today will feature a discussion on the food shortage in Southern Africa in the second hour of the program. Check local NPR listings for show times. The segment also will be available online in RealPlayer Audio after the broadcast (Nnamdi, "Public Interest with Kojo Nnamdi," WAMU, 6/12).
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