Washington Post Examines Africa’s ‘New Variant Famine’ With Roots in HIV/AIDS
The Washington Post yesterday examined the effect of HIV/AIDS on widespread famine in Africa. Although the food shortage "has roots in bad weather, bad policies and bad economies," the impact of HIV/AIDS on the scope of the famine -- which threatens the lives of more than 30 million Africans -- has prompted humanitarian agencies to label the crisis a "new variant famine." HIV/AIDS has "slashed average life expectancy to 45 years or less in every Southern African country but one." As a result, family "[b]readwinners" are either dying, too sick to work their farms, or are selling farm supplies to pay for health care. Judith Lewis, the World Food Programme's coordinator for Southern Africa, said, "The numbers are staggering. When we look at the vulnerability -- the world's highest malnutrition rates, the world's highest HIV rates -- we're bracing for the worst" (Grunwald, Washington Post, 11/17).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.