Congressional Delegation Departs for Africa To Discuss HIV/AIDS Prevention, Treatment With Government, Health Officials
A six-member congressional delegation today is scheduled to embark on a nine-day trip to Africa to meet with government and public health officials to discuss strategies for fighting HIV/AIDS, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (Webb, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 8/19). The delegation, led by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and including Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and John Warner (R-Va.), is scheduled to travel to South Africa today; they plan to visit Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia before returning to the United States on Aug. 29. The delegation plans to meet with government and public health officials, physicians, HIV-positive people and their families. The delegation also will visit clinics and testing and treatment facilities, including the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, South Africa; the Salvation Army HIV orphanage in Soweto; the Bernard Noordkamp Catholic AIDS Action Center in Windhoek, Namibia; and the St. Mary's Hospital Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission and VCT facility in Windhoek (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/18). Coleman, whose sister and brother-in-law died from AIDS-related causes and who will be joined by his wife, Laurie, on the trip, said, "[AIDS] is not a disease that affects one group of people," adding, "It affects men, it affects women, it affects gays, it affects straights, it affects young and old, and Africa is a case study of that. ... I see myself as having an opportunity to fight this plague, and this is part of it" (St. Paul Pioneer Press, 8/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.