In a report released this week by the Worldwatch Institute, one-third of the drop in world population growth projections were contributed to AIDS related deaths. “If a low cost cure is not found soon, countries with adult HIV infection rates over 20% such as Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe, will lose one fifth of more of their adult population to AIDS within the next decade,” stated the report. It goes on to point out that the inability to address the AIDS problem is caused in part “by faltering international support for family planning,” and that “the same reproductive health care services and condoms that help lower birth rates also check the spread of the virus.” The devistation of AIDS is already visible in many African countries. AIDS patients occupy 70% of the country’s hospital beds in South Africa; 50% of Zimbabwe’s national health care budget is being consumed by treatment of AIDS patients; and one in four of the students at the Univerisity of Durban-Westville in South Africa are HIV positive.
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