UN says up to half the teenagers in Africa will die of AIDS
- By: Scott Gottlieb
AIDS will cause early death in as many as half of the teenagers living in the hardest hit countries of southern Africa, causing population imbalances nearly without precedent, according to a report released last week by UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.
Demographers predict that two thirds of the 15 year olds in Botswana will die of AIDS before reaching age 50. Although that is clearly the world's worst scenario, researchers predict that in any country where 15% of adults are now infected, at least 35% of those who are currently teenagers will eventually die of AIDS.
The AIDS epidemic is already measurably eroding economic development, educational attainment, and child survival - all key measures of a nation's health - in much of sub-Saharan Africa, according to the report.
The disease's ultimate toll on the region, however, is likely to be far more severe than what is evident