Washington Times Examines AIDS Epidemic in Botswana
Botswana's AIDS epidemic, which affects approximately one-third of the nation's population, "threatens to undermine one of [Africa's] most democratic and best educated countries," the Washington Times reports in a profile of the country. According to a Harvard University Gazette article published in April, between 36% and 38% of Botswanan adults have HIV/AIDS, and 50% of women "most likely to become pregnant" -- those between the ages of 25 and 30 -- are estimated to be HIV-positive. The average life expectancy in the country is expected to fall from 64 years in 1998 to 42 years by 2010, the Times reports. In addition, health officials say the infant mortality rate will increase from 41 infant deaths to 65 per 1,000 live births. During a recent broadcast calling on residents to "come forward" to receive free medical supplies and prescription drugs, Botswana's President Festus Mogae said, "We are the most hideously affected country in the world. The pandemic is not abating" (Rollnick, Washington Times, 6/27). The full article is available online.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.