Atlanta Journal-Constitution Profiles Efforts To Fight AIDS in Three African Nations
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday featured articles from three AIDS workers on the fight against AIDS in Mozambique, Lesotho and South Africa. The following are summaries of the articles:
- "Lesotho: Witchcraft No Longer Bears Blame for Virus": Lesotho, where 31% of the people are HIV-positive, has been vulnerable to AIDS because of migration, commercial sex work, high levels of drug and alcohol use, high crime rates and strong stigma, Limpho Mokhochane, education coordinator for the Sexual Health and Rights Promotion program of CARE, writes. However, with the work of SHARP, stories about AIDS in the community have shifted from talk of witchcraft to new stories about the disease itself, providing a "glimmer of hope in the fight against AIDS," Mokhochane says (Mokhochane, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 12/3).
- "Mozambique: Deaths of Loved Ones Make Fight Personal": Sarah Martinho Muhenbe, an aid worker for CARE's program in Mozambique, writes that although she is worried that she might be HIV-positive, the antiretroviral drugs used to treat the disease are not available in Mozambique, and because there is "little chance this situation will change in the years to come," she does not "see much point in being tested." Martinho Muhenbe says that she copes by "protect[ing] myself and help[ing] others avoid infection" (Martinho Muhenbe, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 12/3).
- "South Africa: Labor Unions Help Spread the Word": In South Africa, where 70% of working people belong to labor unions, organized labor is "uniquely suited to the task of fighting AIDS," David Allen, Southern African regional director for the CDC's Global AIDS Program, writes. The program over the past three years has supported unions' efforts, including the provision of HIV prevention and treatment in collective bargaining -- "a startling development in any country," Allen says. He concludes that with the support of the CDC program and multiple international organizations, South Africa "may one day triumph over AIDS" (Allen, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 12/3).