AIDS Epidemic To Continue ‘Treacherous Course’ in Namibia ‘Short of a Miracle,’ Opinion Piece Says
"Short of a miracle," Namibia's AIDS epidemic "will continue to run its treacherous course ..., rewriting history and remaking society following its own perverse logic," Allen Palmer, director of International Media Studies in the Communications Department of Brigham Young University and a Fulbright Scholar in Namibia, writes in a Salt Lake Tribune opinion piece. The "scale of the loss" caused by HIV/AIDS in Africa is "staggering," Palmer says. International agencies are "struggling to feed thousands of AIDS orphans" and often provide the only reliable food supply in villages where many farmers "no longer have the strength or the will" to farm, Palmer says. USAID officials believe that HIV/AIDS is "radically reshaping" Namibia, Palmer says, adding that by 2020, the country could lose 25% to 33% of its total workforce because of HIV/AIDS. In addition, few Namibians are able to access testing and treatment, and the success of AIDS education programs are limited by "longstanding historical taboos in African life about open discussions of sexual intimacy," Palmer says. "HIV/AIDS is almost too large a problem in Africa to fully grasp," Palmer says, concluding that the disease "continues to challenge every effort to mobilize medical care and to distribute antiretroviral drugs" (Palmer, Salt Lake Tribune, 4/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.