Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

India overtakes SA
Call it a misleading headline, because this is not a race you want to be winning: India has overtaken South Africa as the country with the highest prevalence of people living with HIV/AIDS, according to the latest UN report. This infers few pats on the back for South Africa though, as India's HIV/AIDS penetration is 0.9% of population, whereas it's almost a staggering 19% locally.

That's all the stats I need to see - almost one of every five people in the country have AIDS. How many people do you know with AIDS? Not many? If that's the case, can you imagine the devastating effect that averaged percentage is having on certain families, communities and towns around South Africa? Government's response is patently, plainly, simply not sufficient.

There seems to be a lot of confusion amongst the pundits as to whether the report is positive or negative (if you'll excuse the macabre pun), as a quick Google News search will reveal:

Great News in Global AIDS Fight
AIDS declining worldwide?
Worldwide HIV rate slows


U.N.: Battle against AIDS still falling short
UNAIDS head: World is losing HIV fight
Aids will spread to every corner of planet