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South Africa dilly-dallying on AIDS situation

South Africa, which is now the third most affected country by the AIDS virus, HIV, is in an unenviable position. One in every five South African is HIV positive. If this isn’t enough, the government is in the midst of a major controversy, as it refused a huge consignment of one million AIDS detecting kits free of cost estimated around seven million U.S. Dollars.

Earlier last year the South African president Thabo Mbeki caused a flutter when he openly questioned whether the HIV actually caused AIDS. He had then questioned the wisdom of the scientists and said the AIDS epidemic was overly played up.

Now the opposition has joined the worldwide condemnation of the South African government’s way of handling such an explosive situation.

However the government remains unruffled. On March 13th it refused to declare AIDS a national emergency. While South Africa can feel that the situation is not as bad as that in Botswana or Zimbabwe, health experts warn that unless the government pulls its socks up, the situation might soon go out of control.


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