diet coke for breakfast

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Posted by RFTR - Credit Where It's Due: "South Africa has taken a major step in the battle against HIV and AIDS, one that may help the world defeat the pandemic once and for all.
Yesterday's decision by the South African cabinet to approve a plan for the nationwide treatment of people living with HIV and AIDS is a milestone for a country that has one of the highest rates of HIV infection. Under the terms of the new treatment program, developed by the health ministry with the support of my foundation, up to 1.4 million South Africans should be receiving medicines which will extend their lives by years.

I need someone to explain to me how antiretroviral medicines (ARVs) help prevent the spread of AIDS on the continent. To my recollection, and according to this quote, ARVs prevent the spread of HIV in an individual. I don't see, however, how that prevents the spread through a population. This is good work, and the people of Africa definitely deserve access to the same drugs we have here, but the drugs available stateside are not the reason that infection rates are dropping--that's thanks to sexual education and STD prevention. Increased life expectancies after infection don't help "defeat the pandemic," to my way of thinking.


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