AIDS Orphans ‘Greatest Moral Issue,’ Oprah Winfrey Says During Trip to Zambia
Television talk show host Oprah Winfrey on Thursday during a trip to Zambia to highlight HIV/AIDS awareness said that AIDS orphans pose "the greatest moral issue of our present time," Reuters reports. Winfrey, who was invited to Zambia by UNICEF, visited clinics in the capital city Lusaka that provide care to HIV-positive pregnant women, including the provision of antiretroviral drugs to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission (Reuters, 12/5). "The important thing being done is to keep more mothers alive," Winfrey said, adding, "Because if more mothers are alive, there will be less orphans in society" (Mwanangombe, Associated Press, 12/4). Winfrey said that not enough is being done to help AIDS orphans in Africa because people worldwide do not understand the impact the disease is having on the continent, according to Reuters. "People out there know the AIDS problem in Africa through statistics and not the human suffering it has created. ... [T]he correct picture of how AIDS orphans and women are suffering has not been brought out," she said, adding, "I will help to correct that through my shows." Winfrey also said that she would lobby for additional funding to be provided to African nations to help fight HIV/AIDS, Reuters reports (Reuters, 12/5). "My goal is to empower women and children. I want women to know that they are also important," she said. Winfrey, who is traveling with U.N. Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis, was scheduled to visit more clinics in Livingstone, Zambia, on Friday and is set to leave later that day (Associated Press, 12/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.