Saturday, January 27, 2001

Don Campbell

AIDS and Africans

FUJISAWA CITY, Japan — Occasionally, an opinion piece comes along that makes one risk appearing callous. In this case, it's Stephen Lewis's J'accuse (Comment — Jan. 26), in which he calls the West's refusal to help AIDS sufferers in Africa "murder."

Expressing the gravest sympathy for those infected with AIDS by a spouse or a parent is a moral duty. But even Mr. Lewis must be able to see, after all the time he spent in Africa, that the situation will not be changed by drugs. It will be changed by Africans. Prostitution is an open and acceptable way to earn money everywhere in Africa. AIDS is carried into the most impenetrable regions by truck drivers, who, after prostitutes, carry the highest rates of infection.

I spent six months in Africa in 1995. AIDS warnings are everywhere. Only in Uganda has the rate of AIDS actually diminished. This is not due to drugs, but to education and condom use.

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Created: February 2, 2001
Last modified: September 1, 2001
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