You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

AIDS-Linked Death Data Stir Political Storm in South Africa

More from South Africa on mortality from HIV/AIDS. Excerpts from the Times:

In an implicit but devastating account of the havoc AIDS is causing
here, South Africa’s government reported Friday that annual deaths
increased 57 percent from 1997 to 2003, with common AIDS-related
diseases like tuberculosis and pneumonia fueling much of the rise.

The report, by the government agency Statistics South Africa, caused
contention even before its release, which came more than a month after
the originally scheduled date. Critics charged – and the agency denied
– that the delay was because of political pressure from President Thabo
Mbeki’s government, which they say has long played down the dimensions
of the AIDS crisis here.

Mr. Mbeki’s office sharply rebuked the agency in 2001 after it reported
that 4 in 10 deaths among working-age adults probably resulted from
AIDS, saying that statisticians could not prove their conclusion.

The report states that 499,000 of South Africa’s roughly 44 million
people died in 2002, up sharply from 318,000 in 1997. Much of that
increase appears to result from H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS.
Experts agree that there are at least five million H.I.V.-positive
citizens here, the most of any country.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.