Monitor: South African Comment on the 13th International Aids Conference, Which Started in Durban on Sunday ; ALL THE NEWS OF THE WORLD
This week's Aids conference entitled "Break the Silence", is one talk- shop that has to produce a workable programme of action rather than just the masses of documents and resolutions we have come to expect from such events. The threat of the Aids pandemic to our country is too great to do otherwise. It is appropriate that South Africa, which has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world, should host such an important conference. We are also fortunate to have such a vast body of knowledge on the disease in one place at the same time. What we do with that information will determine whether we beat Aids or it continues to wipe out of millions of young South Africans. South Africans would do well to follow the example of Uganda, an African country that is winning the battle against Aids. Success was achieved by, among other things, acknowledging the seriousness of the disease and encouraging openness that has reduced the stigma of Aids. Aids is everyone's problem. This is the message that needs to be conveyed as the disease begins to put greater and greater strain on our resources. Then, perhaps, we will break the silence and beat Aids.
Durban Daily News
In the background of the conference are the shades of the 34.3 million adults and children living with Aids worldwide, with a whopping 24.5 million of them in Africa. It is to be hoped that the conference will not become just a talk-shop for medical experts, academics and economists to debate latest medical developments and the impact HIV/Aids will have on the global economy, important though both these aspects are. Just as vital is the need to formulate a strategy which will draw in ordinary people, those most at risk of infection and those living with the disease, to educate them and draw commitment to halt the spread of infection. …