using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : March 2006
The Dimensions of the Disaster 15.0% - 39.0% 5.0% - 15.0% 1.0% - 5.0% 0.5% - 1.0% 0.1% - 0.5% 0.0% - 0.1% not available To grasp the tragedy of AIDS in Africa, it's necessary to consider some statistics. Already more than 11 million people have died. Another 25 million people are infected. With a new infection every ten seconds, the UN says that even if the problem is tackled in an intelligent, long- term way, 75 million Africans will die of AIDS by 2025. More deaths than the Second World War. Far more than the total of all the wars since then. And that's not the worst-case scenario. Because of AIDS, sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world where life expectancy is dropping. Twenty years ago the average Af- rican was likely to live to 50; now they are lucky to reach 45. In nine countries, life expectancy has dropped below 40. Most of the dead and sick are breadwinners or mothers, and the pandemic is toughest on women: 550/0 of those infected are women or girls. Some countries have staggering rates of infection. In Swaziland al- most 400/0 of people ages 15 to 49 are HIV-positive. At the other end of the scale is Uganda where, thanks to an aggressive education program, HIV prevalence has fallen to only four percent. Even so, AIDS is the leading cause of death for young adults in Uganda, and the country has an orphan population of more than two million, half of whom carry the virus themselves. The plague is devastating not just individuals and families but whole societies. Gains in literacy, education, and health care are being lost. Right now there are 14 million AIDS orphans in sub-Saharan Africa; by 2010 there could be 25 million. In shock, grieving, and without parental guid- ance, they form a major part of the upcoming generation. The assault on the region includes its economies. South Africa, the re- gional economic engine, has more people with AIDS than any nation on Earth-more than six million. Among people in their most productive period of their lives, ages 15 to 49, one in every five has HIY. The U.S. State Department estimates the epidemic could cost the South African econo- my as much as 170/0 in GDP growth by 2010, about $4 billion a year. The G8 countries currently contribute $25 billion a year in total foreign aid to Africa, and promise to double that by 2010. But Action- Aid, a respected NGO in the U.K., says 600/0 of this aid should be called "phantom aid;' because it never reaches people in need. Instead it goes to consultants, administration, and aid tied to the purchase of goods and services from companies in the donor countries. But even if the G8 follows through on its commitment-and there is reason for skepticism-it will not be enough. UNAIDS believes Af- rica needs about $20 billion a year just to confront HIV / AIDS. How much is $20 billion? With millions of lives at stake, and the future of an entire continent, is it too much money? Consider this: it's about 20/0 of the world's annual military spending. And if the U.S. wanted to pay the entire sum itself-and perform one of the greatest good deeds in history-what would that amount to? All of 40/0 of this year's U.S. military spending. -DAVID SWICK Adult prevalence (0/0) The map above illustrates the estimated prevalence of HIV/ AIDS by African country, at the end of 2003. (Estimates produced by UNAIDS and the World Health Organization.) Sources: World Bank, Washington Post, UNICEF, UNAIDS, Race Against Time.