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SOUTH AFRICA: Battling AIDS in the military

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 23 September (PLUSNEWS) - South Africa has teamed up with the United States to investigate how best to manage HIV/AIDS in a military setting, as the disease is increasingly impacting on the ability of African armies to field peacekeeping missions.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence Theresa Whalen warned a recent gathering of African military health officials in Cape Town that "HIV and other diseases represent a readiness challenge to militaries throughout the world, and security for us all demands that we pay attention to this".

The South Africa military has been a frontrunner on the continent in efforts to address HIV/AIDS in the ranks. In 2002 it approached the US for help and a collaboration programme with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, known as Project Phidisa (Prolong Life), is already showing results, the Associated Press reported.

Infection rates in African armed forces are estimated at twice those of the general population due to the mobility of soldiers, their access to casual sex, and a culture of risk-taking.



Recent SOUTH AFRICA Reports
Concern as MSF starts handover of HIV/AIDS treatment,  24/Jan/06
Gays and SANBS kiss and make up,  20/Jan/06
Khomanani adds a new twist to love on Valentine's,  13/Jan/06
Global Fund withdraws support for loveLife ,  19/Dec/05
National survey finds young women most at risk of HIV/AIDS,  1/Dec/05
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance

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