Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Zimbabwe's Lethal HIV Solution

Today's WashingtonPost features as article that basically argues HIV rates are decreasing in Zimbabwe because of the high death rates due to poverty. Tragic and lethal, indeed. I see some signs of this being true within the areas we work. Continue to pray for wisdom for all of us working to create healthy solutions to the challenges HIV presents.



"Saturday, March 1, 2008; Page A13

Regarding the Feb. 20 article "African AIDS Crisis Outlives $15 Billion Bush Initiative":

According to the article, "economic collapse has coincided with fundamental social change" to decrease the rate of HIV infection in Zimbabwe.

Nevertheless, it is rising mortality -- resulting from hardship and poverty -- that has been instrumental in effecting change. As mortality rates increase, the pool of infected people and the risk of new infections shrink, and -- statistically speaking -- this decreases HIV rates.

Death, then, acts as a powerful incentive for behavioral change, but it can hardly be prescribed as the ideal antidote to AIDS. While the health benefits of embracing monogamy are obvious, the cause of this shift (poverty) should also be a cause for widespread concern.

Skyrocketing unemployment and social disruption have also played a part, at once reducing mobility and increasing migration. While the former lessens the risk of infection, the latter inflates other countries' HIV rates while letting Zimbabwe benefit.

When a country with 150,000 percent inflation and a despotic ruler flaunts achievements that no one else can claim, perhaps a little more caution is in order.

-- Ilaria Regondi


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