Anti-AIDS efforts slowing African epidemic

A World Bank study revealed that the battle against the deadly AIDS epidemic in Africa is gaining ground, with wider access to HIV prevention and treatment programs in local communities today. “The mobilization of empowered ‘grassroots’ communities, along with delivering condoms and life-saving treatments, are beginning to slow the pace of the…epidemic,” the report said, citing successful efforts in Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi and Zambia. Since its launch in 2001, the aid agency’s $1.28 billion Multi-Country HIV/AIDS Program has given out some 1.3 billion condoms, created 1,500 new counseling centers and funded anti-retroviral treatment for 26,699 people in 27 countries. Former Botswana Health Minister Joy Phumaphi, however, cautioned against complacency: “AIDS stole into Africa like a thief in the night. All these years later, we still must stay vigilant…even when it seems that infections are starting to fall and more people are being saved with treatment.” (Source: Africa’s AIDS epidemic slowing - World Bank/Reuters)

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