CIA Director Tenet Declares AIDS is Security Threat to United States
CIA Director George Tenet yesterday told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the international HIV/AIDS pandemic is a national security threat to the United States and could "undermin[e] the stability and economies" of many other nations, the AP/Richmond-Times Dispatch reports. "The national-security dimensions of the virus are plain: It can undermine economic growth, exacerbate social tensions, diminish military preparedness, create huge social-welfare costs and further weaken already beleaguered states," Tenet said, adding that the virus "respects no border." According to a National Intelligence Council report released in September 2002, there could be as many as 100 million HIV cases outside of Africa by 2010, with India projected to have 25 million HIV cases and China projected to have 15 million cases. There are currently 40 million people worldwide who are HIV-positive, with the majority living in Southern Africa. The report also predicted that Russia, Nigeria and Ethiopia will have a "significant increase" in HIV cases in the next 10 years (AP/Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.