tensions grow over Aids
MALALA: New York
The number of people infected with HIV/Aids will grow significantly
by the end of the decade, reaching up to 75 million in the
world's five most populous countries and continuing to
decimate millions in Central and Southern Africa, a new US
intelligence report says.
The report also
says rates of infection will grow dramatically in Russia,
China, India, Nigeria and Ethiopia, with the last two
countries being the hardest hit if urgent steps are not taken
to implement education and preventive programmes about
countries are key to regional stability, and the rise in
HIV/Aids will strain their governments," the report by
the National Intelligence Council said.
will continue to die from the pandemic in Central and Southern
Africa, infections were likely to peak, the report said
2010, HIV/Aids will increase more slowly or even decline in
Southern and Central Africa - now in the sixth decade of the
disease," the report claims.
infection rates for Central and Southern Africa will be 30
million to 35 million by 2010.
The council is
composed of individuals from the government and academic and
private sectors and is directly linked to the US's Central
main author, Dr David F Gordon, is director of transnational
issues for the CIA.
In the report,
"The Next Wave of HIV/Aids", released this week, the
group focused on the effect of the virus on the five countries
and painted a picture where rates of infection are rising so
fast that they pose potential security threats to their
regions and to the US.
The report said
the effect of the pandemic could harm economic, social,
political and military structures in each of the countries.
New tensions over spending priorities for the countries and
for donor nations could emerge while healthcare costs were
likely to soar.
Gordon said the
pandemic could generate political tensions in Nigeria, a
country that has been the most consistent partner with South
Africa in implementing the New Partnership for Africa's
Development. His report said the epidemic could also weaken
Nigeria's peacekeeping role for the United Nations in Africa.
report focuses exclusively on the five countries, it praises
the work of the governments of Uganda, Brazil and Thailand in
stemming the rise of infections by launching aggressive sex
education programmes. The report also uses a UN Aids graph,
which shows that from 1990 South Africa failed to implement an
aggressive HIV control programme and thus infections soared.
graph shows that from the same starting point of below 1%
infections in 1990, infections in Thailand have remained below
4% while they have soared to nearly 25% of the sexually active
population in South Africa.