Home Index ... Return to June 24 Front Page

AIDS is Ravaging Africa

The June 24 Kansas City Star reports that the United Nations estimates that one in four Africans in some countries are infected with the HIV virus. Last year "30 million people worldwide" were infected, and 21 million of them were in Africa, mostly sub-Saharan. The rates are highest among adults ages 15 to 49; 13 countries have a 10% infection rate, and Botswana and imbabwe have a 25% infection rate. Several other countries (including Namibia and South Africa) are moving towards the one in four infection rate. Botswana had a 10% infection rate in 1992; in five years that increased to 25%. In one survey in an urban area of pregnant women, 43% were found to be HIV positive.

UN officials said that most of these people will die, since the price of the necessary medicines exceeds local average incomes. Glaxo Wellcome has recently cut the prices of its anti-Aids drugs sold in developing countries by 75%, but the resulting $200/month price is still way more than most people can afford.

Last year there were 5.6 million new infections with HIV, and 2.3 million died of AIDS.

Most of the people who died of AIDS last year were poor.

But the profits and dividends of Glaxo Wellcome are doing just fine.

Home Index ... Return to June 24 Front Page