World AIDS DayThis essay is part of a (more or less) weekly feature on this blog that presents interesting stories from elsewhere in the world, particularly Africa, that are little reported in the American media. It's part of my campaign to get people to realize there is a lot going on in the world outside the US, Israel, Iraq, North Korea and Iran.
Today is World AIDS Day.
Being based in South Africa, which has the world's largest AIDS population, The Daily Mail and Guardian offers an interesting perspective. Two of its articles illustrate how the disease impacts more than just those affect with the HIV virus.
It notes that the AIDS death rate will create some 200,000 orphaned children this year alone.
The Mail and Guardian also talks about one of the underappreciated parts of the pandemic: the grave toll exacted on medical workers treating AIDS victims.
The paper mentions a study by a South African mental health group concluding that almost 2/3 of the caregivers in the country suffer from depression. Given that these are the people who help keep AIDS sufferers alive, it's a very serious problem.
The Independent offers a few bits of good news. The center-left paper has a surprising article on how the world's drug firms sacrificed profits in the battle against AIDS. It's a great example demonstrating how shame and public pressure are far better means to address socially irresponsible corporate behavior than government mandates (which should remain an option of last resort).
The British daily also has a piece on how music is being used in Senegal in HIV/AIDS education campaigns. The west African country has the lowest rate of HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa.
The paper also has an article on the 50 best African artists.