Mostly rational politics, with occasional rants about how a few crazy Republicans are ruining the country.
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Tuesday, December 14, 2004
AIDS in Africa
I consider AIDS a political problem (as well as humanitarian one), so it will get some play on this blog from time to time. The following graphic found on Yahoo really struck me:
Lesotho (that country the size of Maryland within South Africa) has 320,000 people living with HIV. Out of 1.9 million people total, or 17% of the population. The U.S.A. has 3x as many people infected with HIV (950,000 estimated), but 154x the population (293 million). The life expectancy in Lesotho is 36.
If you add up the HIV cases in the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Eritrea it equals the amount in the U.S., but their combined populations (33 million) is just over a tenth of the U.S. population.
AIDS in Africa is a problem of epic proportions, and we have to keep talking about it so our politicians start paying more attention. Many of these countries can't make progress because their entire national output is used to pay interest on the debt they've incurred from foreign governments, the world bank, IMF, etc. They can't break out of the cycle, and they're largely voiceless in the international arena.
I'll also add that if we want to spend billions of dollars saving people from tragedy in foreign countries, perhaps there are better ways to do it than bombing cities. If we diverted just $10 billion from the money spent in Iraq, we could appropriately fight AIDS in Africa for a year.