DEPRESSING!!! I just wrote this for the internship:
AIDS Threatens To Erase a Generation
By T.J. DEGROAT
©2000 my Internship
June 28, 2000
AIDS-related illnesses will kill more than half of all 15-year-olds in the African countries most affected by the pandemic, including South Africa and Zimbabwe, where a fifth of all adults are HIV-positive, according to a study released by the United Nations yesterday.
“The world has never before experienced death rates of this magnitude among young adults of both sexes across all social strata,” the U.N. Joint Program on HIV/AIDS said in the report, titled “Report on the Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic.”
The projections were calculated from statistical models based on surveys of infection rates in African countries. Overall, Africa accounts for 71 percent of current infections and 83 percent of all AIDS-related deaths.
If rates remain steady in countries such as Botswana, there will be more adults in their 60's and 70's than in their 40's and 50's, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The report stated there are 16 countries where more than 10 percent of people age 15-49 are infected with the virus: Botswana, Burundi, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Lack of education and denial are part of the problem, according to the report. A 1999 survey of 72 Kenyans whose parents died of AIDS found that none of the minors believed their parents had died of the virus. Most blamed witchcraft.
There are now 34.3 million people infected with HIV worldwide, according to the report. The rate of 0.6 percent of the population has stabilized in the United States, but it’s one of the highest rates among developed nations. An estimated 850,000 Americans have HIV.
The report warned that some Americans have become careless, especially gay men in cities such as New York and San Francisco, where some are engaging in unprotected sex with multiple partners.
While financial efforts to prevent the disease from spreading have increased, the estimated $300 million in support this year falls very short of the $2 billion needed annually in sub-Saharan Africa alone, the report said.