Attention to AIDS

Published December 1, 2003

Religious leaders at the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) have acknowledged their slow response to the pandemic and have urged more attention be directed to the problem. “At the moment, the AIDS epidemic remains the most devastating crisis in the history of human health. More than 35 million people are living with HIV,” John Kamau wrote in an editorial comment in Nairobi’s Daily Nation newspaper. “Twenty-two million men, women and children have died, and 15,000 people are infected every day.” It is estimated there will be 45 million new infections by 2010, despite a recent increase in funding to combat the virus. Dr. Nalini Treakeshawar, a researcher at Yale University, said: “There’s no denying that religion plays an important role for individuals and in communities in most African countries.” He noted that 40 per cent of Africa ‘s health care systems were controlled by faith-based organizations.


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