South Africa: McCollum Sees Impact of AIDS
August 19, 2003
U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum caught glimpses of hope amid suffering and death as she traveled through South Africa on Friday. "I've been in one orphanage, in Soweto, and it was staggering to walk in and see a whole nursery room full of children who are HIV-positive," said McCollum (D-Minn.). McCollum saw hope in nevirapine, which is administered to HIV-positive expectant mothers and usually prevents the virus from being passed to their babies. "People will walk for miles for access to this drug," she said. "I thought I was prepared for it emotionally, but you just can't imagine what it's like," observed McCollum. "There was a mayor that I met, and when he goes to city council meetings, and they do their planning, they're planning for cemeteries, not for new businesses, not for homes. ... If you drive down a road or an interstate, there are handmade signs up advertising for coffins and tombstones." McCollum's trip was sponsored by the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.Adapted from:
Saint Paul Pioneer Press
08.17.03; Tom Webb
Congressional Delegation Arrives in South Africa, Aims to Use Experience to Determine U.S. Response to HIV/AIDS Epidemic
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.