AIDS and violent conflict in Africa
* In sub-Saharan Africa there are more than 25 million Africans
infected with HIV/AIDS (70 percent of the world's cases) and 17
million dead; on its current trajectory, by 2010 the disease will
decrease life expectancy on the continent to levels found at the
beginning of the last century.
* Many governments, international organizations, and NGOs have joined
a UN-led movement to address the causes and effects of AIDS in
Africa. It now appears that the international community is fully
conscious of the need to commit resources to turn the tide against
* AIDS most frequently strikes at the most productive members of
society, those 15-45 years old that are critical to the development
of the African state and the stability of the African family.
* As AIDS advances in a society it weakens the state's economic
capacity, stealing away its human capital, cutting into its tax
base, and drying up foreign investment Power struggles over the
state's limited resources increase the likelihood of violent
* The disease leaves in its wake an explosion of the orphan
population, thereby increasing the ranks of poverty-stricken
children in Africa.
* Warfare is an amplifier of disease, creating ideal conditions for
its spread, including poverty, famine, destruction of health and
other vital infrastructure, large population movements, and the
breakdown of family units and thus protective networks for women.
The December 2000 report "AIDS Epidemic Update" (United Nations AIDS Fund/World Health Organization) described the stark human tragedy caused by the HIV/AIDS pandemic: 36 million people infected worldwide, 22 million dead since the identification of the disease some 20 years ago, indications of exponential growth of HIV infection in the Russian Federation, and an escalating... [continues]
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