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International News

Newsweek Examines HIV/AIDS Pandemic on 25th Anniversary of First AIDS Diagnosis

May 9, 2006

Newsweek in its May 15 issue examines the HIV/AIDS pandemic on the 25th anniversary of the first AIDS diagnosis. The articles are summarized below.

  • "A Challenge for Leaders": Newsweek examines the reasons why religious, political and civil-rights leaders in the black community in the U.S. have been slow to launch an "all-out crusade" against the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Black leaders are "perpetually overwhelmed" by other issues, Newsweek reports. These issues include poverty, crime and drugs, according to Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE. In addition, many black leaders find it "distasteful and discomforting" to talk about AIDS-related issues, according to Newsweek (Cose, Newsweek, 5/15).

  • "An HIV Survivor's Story": Newsweek profiles Margaret Mukacyaka, an HIV-positive Rwandan women who survived the country's 1994 genocide. Mukacyaka, who acquired HIV and became pregnant after she was raped by militiamen during the genocide, now works with the Association of Genocide Widows to advise other rape survivors to undergo HIV tests (Newsweek, 5/15).

  • "Battling a Black Epidemic": Newsweek examines how HIV/AIDS in the U.S. has "increasingly become a disease of color, with blacks bearing the heaviest burden by far." Blacks are disproportionately affected by the disease because of factors such as poverty and stigma, Newsweek reports. Newsweek also highlights efforts to stem the spread of HIV among blacks, including the "Rap It Up" campaign, by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Black Entertainment Television, that urges teens to use condoms and get tested for HIV (Kalb/Murr, Newsweek, 5/15).

  • "How AIDS Changed America": Newsweek examines how the HIV/AIDS epidemic has "left an indelible mark" on U.S. history and culture. The epidemic has also changed society, which has been reflected in the mass media and pop culture, Newsweek reports (Jefferson, Newsweek, 5/15).

  • "The Life of a Virus Hunter": Newsweek profiles UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot, who has "helped spark an explosion of money and concern" worldwide. Piot says he now faces the task of "making the money work," but he continues to feel hopeful (Cowley, Newsweek, 5/15).

  • "My Quest To Improve Care": Although the progress made to combat HIV/AIDS worldwide is "hearten[ing]," there are still many challenges that remain, former President Clinton writes in a Newsweek opinion piece. More needs to be done to ensure that children who need it receive antiretroviral treatment, women are "sufficiently" empowered to avoid contracting HIV, treatment for HIV/AIDS is delivered with food and clean water and health care workers remain in Africa, Clinton says. He adds, "[W]e turned the epidemic around in America and made access to lifesaving care and treatment universal. Now we can do the same thing around the world and save millions of lives by the end of the decade." Clinton also credits the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and the Bush administration among others with providing increased funding needed to increase the number of people on antiretroviral drugs worldwide (Clinton, Newsweek, 5/15).

  • "What Women Really Need": For many women worldwide, "marriage is a risk factor for AIDS because of their husbands' dangerous behavior," Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, writes in a Newsweek opinion piece. Speeding the development of tools such as microbicides -- a range of products such as gels, films and sponges that could help prevent the sexual transmission of HIV and other infections -- could "put the power to prevent AIDS into the hands of women." Governments need to commit more funding to researching new prevention tools as well as increase access to existing prevention methods, including education and condoms, according to Gates. In addition, developing countries need to strengthen their infrastructures to host clinical trials, Gates writes (Gates, Newsweek, 5/15).

  • The online version of the issue also contains Web-only exclusives, including "1993: A Lost Generation," an article examining the toll that AIDS-related deaths have taken on the arts; "Magic's Message," a piece featuring Magic Johnson's role in the battle against HIV/AIDS; "Showers, Sex and AIDS," an article that examines the trial of former deputy president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, and its effects on the battle to stop the spread of HIV in South Africa; and "Living With HIV: A Teenager's Diary," in which a South African teenager speaks out about life with the virus.

Americans Show Increased Support for U.S. Leadership on HIV/AIDS at Home and Abroad, Survey Indicates
Newsweek also features results from the Survey of Americans on HIV/AIDS, a Kaiser Family Foundation survey that finds that 60% of Americans believe the U.S. is a world leader and has an obligation to help fight HIV/AIDS in developing countries, up from 44% in 2002. Fifty-six percent of Americans said the U.S. is not spending enough to fight the pandemic in developing nations, up from 31% in 2002. In addition, 40% of Americans say the world is losing ground in its fight against the pandemic, and 63% of people say the U.S. is not committing enough resources to fight the epidemic domestically. A significant percentage of Americans still have misperceptions about HIV transmission; 37% think it might be spread through kissing, 22% think it might be spread by sharing a drinking glass and 16% think it might be spread by touching a toilet seat (Kaiser Family Foundation, "Survey of Americans on HIV/AIDS," 5/8).

Back to other news for May 9, 2006


Reprinted with permission from You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2006 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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