St. Petersburg Times Examines HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Botswana
The St. Petersburg Times on Sunday examined how HIV/AIDS has "ravaged" Botswana despite the country's "remarkable" economic and democratic developments and its implementation of "Africa's most ambitious program" to fight the disease. In 2002, Botswana launched a national program to provide antiretroviral medications to HIV-positive residents with the help of a $100 million, five-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and drug maker Merck. Currently, Botswana has established 17 treatment centers, with 15 additional facilities planned. However, HIV prevalence in Botswana is 37.4% -- the second highest in the world after Swaziland -- and life expectancy in the nation has dropped to age 37, the Times reports. The country's HIV prevalence rate remains high in part because Botswana is a "male-dominant society in which men like to brag about the number of women they've had" and because the "relative affluence" of the nation has allowed more residents to "enjoy a newfound mobility that hastened the virus' spread," according to the Times (Martin, St. Petersburg Times, 10/3). The complete article is available online.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.