South Africa Should Follow Example of Ugandan AIDS Policies, London Times Editorial Says
South African President Thabo Mbeki should adopt the "proactive and successful strategy" employed by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in addressing his country's HIV/AIDS epidemic, the London Times states in an editorial. "[A]n old, paranoid, freedom-fighting cast of mind ... underpins [Mbeki's] resistance to facing up to the threat of AIDS," the Times says. The editorial states that the "facile emotionalism" represented by Mbeki's "suspicion that Africans are seen as 'sub-human' carriers of disease" has "no place in today's independent Africa." Independent surveys estimate that between 15% and 20% of South Africans are HIV-positive, a high percentage for "the continent's wealthiest country," according to the Times. Uganda, despite being plagued by civil war and poverty, has gained a place as the only African nation to succeed in reducing its HIV prevalence rates in the last decade through a strategy of education, testing and distribution of condoms and antiretroviral drugs, the Times states. The editorial concludes that Mbeki could "do no better than follow Uganda's example" in the fight against HIV/AIDS (Times, 1/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.