Africa: Battle Against Virus Shows Signs of Progress
January 16, 2009
New data from UNAIDS show that several African countries with high HIV prevalence rates have made significant gains in preventing new infections. The agency's latest report says changes in sexual behavior in Rwanda and Zimbabwe have led to a drop in new HIV infections, and young people in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Uganda, and Zambia are delaying the start of sexual activity.
Across the continent, AIDS campaigners are calling for people to assess the local situation in terms of what is driving the epidemic and then determine the best way to act on this information.
Examples of "knowing your epidemic" include:
However, in South Africa, home to the world's largest HIV/AIDS caseload, prevention campaigns remain static. The government still takes a "standardized cookie-cutter approach to prevention," said Quarraisha Abdool Karim, associate scientific director at the Center for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa. "We are not targeting our intervention. We do not have adequate coverage of interventions that work; knowledge of HIV status and personal risk is low," Karim said.
Inter Press Service
01.10.2009; Zahira Kharsany