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Tuesday, 25 June, 2002, 17:50 GMT 18:50 UK
Aids devastating Africa, UN says
Zambian Aids sufferer
Countries like Zambia are reeling from Aids
Every part of African society from teachers to soldiers is under attack from Aids with over 30% of the adult population infected in some countries, the United Nations says in a new report.

Dr Peter Piot, executive director of the UNAids programme, said that more than 28 million Africans were HIV-positive and the epidemic is creating instability in already fragile African economies.

Zambian funeral
Aids deaths are reducing workforce

One in five farming families in Burkina Faso has had to reduce output or even abandon farms while in Zambia, nearly two-thirds of deaths among managers are due to the epidemic.

The impact of Aids goes right across the board from rural farming communities to the armed forces and the police.

The UNAids report says that the disease accounts for three out of every four deaths among Kenyan policemen.

The report comes just before the G8 summit of industrialised nations in Kananaskis, Canada.

Essential services threatened

The UN estimates that economic growth across Africa has been cut by 4% and in the next 20 years the working population could drop by a quarter because of Aids deaths.

Impact of Aids
Economic growth has fallen 4% because of Aids
20-40% of African soldiers infected
75% of Kenyan police deaths from Aids

The ability of governments to deliver essential services such as health, welfare and justice will be severely weakened.

National security is also at risk as the UN cites African Ministries of Defence as saying that the rate of HIV infection is between 20% and 40% among soldiers. In some countries it could be as high as 60%.

Turning the tide

The UN holds out some hope that the devastation can be averted.


"Investment in Aids will be repaid a thousand-fold"

Dr Peter Piot Executive Director UNAIDS

Dr Piot says that some nations have successfully turned back the epidemic with well-funded, government-supported national Aids programmes.

He says these efforts must be expanded to reach everyone in sub-Saharan Africa.

"Investment in Aids will be repaid a thousand-fold in lives saved, communities held together and economies preserved," says Dr Piot.


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25 Jun 02 | Americas
25 Jun 02 | Business
24 Jun 02 | Africa
04 Apr 02 | Africa
28 Nov 01 | Africa
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