The aids epidemic is so widespread in some countries that U.S. officials fear it could undermine economies, destabilize governments, threaten military establishments and create other regional problems. Here are a few indications of the magnitude of the problem—with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa, where the epidemic is worse that anywhere else in the world:
1) It is estimated that some 6,000 men and women are dying of AIDS each day in the African countries south of the Sahara. Last year’s global death toll from AIDS was 2.6 million, and about 85 percent of those deaths took place in Africa. Warfare in Africa killed 200,000 people last year; AIDs claimed ten times that number. The total of AIDS deaths worldwide through 1999 is 16.3 million; 13.7 million of those deaths were in sub-Saharan countries. Most of the HIV-positive Africans will die in the next ten years, leaving behind shattered families and crippled prospects for development.