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International News

Chicago Tribune Examines Southern African Militaries' Approaches to Controlling HIV/AIDS

March 8, 2006

The Chicago Tribune on Tuesday examined how Southern Africa's militaries, "after years of struggling to come to grips with [HIV/]AIDS in their ranks, are turning into some of the most effective combatants against the virus in Africa." With national security depending on military readiness, controlling HIV/AIDS has become a priority for militaries in the region, according to the Tribune. Most soldiers in Southern Africa have been tested for HIV, and some military bases in the region offer HIV support group meetings. Soldiers also can obtain condoms and antiretroviral drugs at many bases. Botswana's military puts troops who test positive for HIV on antiretrovirals, and soldiers sent on field missions are accompanied by a 90-day supply of drugs. South Africa is supplying more than 1,000 of its troops with antiretrovirals, and in Namibia, the wives and children of HIV-positive soldiers also can receive treatment, the Tribune reports. In Zambia, as in a number of other countries in the region, the military conducts HIV/AIDS treatment campaigns for civilians in remote areas unreachable by national health services. The military's structure of discipline has led to routine HIV testing, adherence to drug treatments and regular condom use, according to Martin Rupia, who is leading a research project on HIV/AIDS in the military at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, South Africa. "The militaries are well ahead of many sectors in their own societies" when it comes to preventing, treating and monitoring HIV/AIDS, Rupia said (Goering, Chicago Tribune, 3/7).

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Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, 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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