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Local and Community News

Canada: Windsor Boosts African AIDS Appeal

October 9, 2002

The generosity of Windsorites has left an indelible mark on an AIDS center director and an AIDS patient from South Africa. Daniela Gennrich and Thuli Hlatshwayo are heading back to KwaZulu-Natal with money and promises for continuing help in the fight against the devastation caused by the AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. During their weeklong visit as guests of the AIDS Committee of Windsor, Gennrich and Hlatshwayo gave 25 presentations -- poignant descriptions of life for a generation of children left without parents.

Gennrich said an estimated 300,000 orphans are living hand-to-mouth in KwaZulu-Natal, looking for foster families and struggling to survive. Many households are headed by 13-year-olds. "The population is so poor, even when some children get foster homes they are treated like Cinderellas," said Gennrich. "About 82 percent of the population is unemployed." It is projected that by 2010 at least 3 million people in South Africa's population of 43 million will have AIDS. Teenage girls are the most vulnerable because of sexual mores and a culture where men are not questioned.

"Drugs are too expensive and, until there is an effort by drug companies to make HIV treatments accessible, the problem will continue to get worse," said Gennrich. She and Hlatshwayo, who contracted HIV in 1998, raised nearly $10,000 mainly through house parties held by supporters in Windsor and through local unions. They also sold some African crafts they brought with them, and they are looking for a distributor for more items made by villagers. The pair formed a partnership with the Church of the Ascension in Windsor and its counterpart in Africa, as well as the AIDS committee, which is helping the women through the ACW Africa Project.

Back to other CDC news for October 9, 2002

Previous Updates

Adapted from:
Windsor Star (Ontario)
10.05.02; Veronique Mandal

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
More on International Efforts to Combat HIV/AIDS in Africa