New York Times Examines Romania’s Success in Fighting HIV/AIDS
The New York Times on Wednesday examined Romania's success in fighting HIV/AIDS, saying that "[a]fter a long, clumsy war" against the epidemic the country has "declared itself the winner." Romania has become a model among countries outside of North America or Western Europe of how governments, pharmaceutical companies and international organizations can work together to improve access to three-drug antiretroviral therapy for HIV-positive people, according to the Times. However, some public health officials fear that a "second wave" of HIV "will hit soon," as HIV-positive children are reaching reproductive age, when they may have sex, give birth and breastfeed, the Times reports. In addition, heroin is easily accessible and inexpensive in Bucharest, where many injection drug users share needles (McNeil, New York Times, 2/11). The complete article is available online.
In a second article, the Times examined the stigma surrounding AIDS that persists in Romania. The Times profiled "Christina," a 16-year-old HIV-positive Romanian girl who is the "public face of AIDS" in the country. However, Christina is not her real name, and her parents do not allow her face to be photographed. "Such is the power of prejudice against AIDS patients" in Romania, the Times reports. The secrecy bothers Christina, according to the Times. "Sometimes I want everybody to know how I look ... to show them that I am fine," she said (McNeil, New York Times, 2/11). The complete article is available online.