‘Much More To Do’ To Control HIV/AIDS in Zambia, Letter to Editor SaysWashington Post columnist Michael Gerson in his Oct. 3 opinion piece "rightly credited" the U.S.'s "unprecedented resource investment as a critical first step" toward controlling the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Zambia, Jeffrey Stringer, director of CDC's disease research in Zambia, writes in a Post letter to the editor. However, there is "much more to do" to control the disease, and such efforts are "going to be expensive," Stringer writes.
The U.S. has provided antiretroviral drug access to more than 70,000 adults and children in Zambia, according to Stringer. In addition, the Zambian government has "worked hard" to provide 35,000 people with treatment access since 2004, Stringer adds. There is a "feeling of hope" as medical wards in the capital city of Lusaka, which once were "overloaded with emaciated AIDS patients" are now "eerily empty," and "[f]uneral processions no longer strangle midday traffic," according to Stringer.
However, there are still 270,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the country who need treatment, according to Stringer. "Steadily over the coming decade, each of these people will need treatment or die without it," Stringer writes, adding that the U.S. has "acted morally and compassionately, but we must brace ourselves" (Stringer, Washington Post, 10/9). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.