AIDS cuts life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa by a quarter
- By: Dorothy Logie
The spread of HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa has far exceeded the worst projections, according to speakers at the 11th international conference on AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases in Africa. In 13 countries the prevalence of HIV infection is more than 10%, and in some it is as high as 30%. At the conference in Lusaka, Zambia, last week, the epidemic was described as an unprecedented threat to the region's economic development.
At the end of 1998, 22.5 million people out of the region's population of 600 million were living with HIV or AIDS; this number includes 1 million children. The epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa accounts for two thirds of the worldwide total of 34 million people with HIV/AIDS. About 7500 people are infected daily.
In only two countries, Uganda and Senegal, does the epidemic seem to be abating. Strong governmental leadership in these countries ensures that there is