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    043359

    AIDS: an African viewpoint.

    Kibedi W

    DEVELOPMENT FORUM. 1987 Mar; 15(2):1, 6.

    The author presents arguments to refute what he considers alarmist, unsupported generalizations about the origin and soread of AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) in Africa. The first myth is that AIDS originated in Africa, after a green monkey bit a man. There is no concrete evidence to support this theory. Moreover, if it were true, AIDS would have been known for years; there would be effective herbal remedies and folk traditions about the danger of green monkey bites. The syndrome is so distinctive, for example the oral candidiasis and striking wasting disease, called "slim" disease, that it would have been recognized long ago. Finally, numbers of cases have peaked in America first, a few years ago, and are now beginning to surge in some areas of Africa. A second myth is that countries are not reporting cases out of embarrassment. The author claims that reports to the WHO show far more cases of AIDS in the U.S. and Europe, and even if the 1000 cases in Africa as of 1986 were 1000-fold underestimated, they would be nowhere near the 5 or 10 million often printed. The third myth, that AIDS is out of control in Africa, is unsupported when the efforts of countries like Uganda are considered. Uganda has an extensive media campaign, significant funds relegated to fighting AIDS, foreign experts called in, blood testing equipment on order and in use in 2 hospitals. AIDS is only a problem in a few urban areas.
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