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HIV/AIDS taking its toll on population
Thursday 21 October 2004
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AFRICA: HIV/AIDS taking its toll on population

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


More condoms are needed

JOHANNESBURG, 15 September (PLUSNEWS) - The HIV/AIDS pandemic will reduce life expectancy in the worst affected African countries to an average of 29 years, a new UN Population Fund (UNFPA) report has said.

Although the UNFPA's 'State of the World Population 2004' report predicts that the world's 50 poorest countries will triple in size by 2050, the 38 African countries hardest hit by HIV/AIDS are projected to have 823 million people in 2015 - 91 million less than if no AIDS-related deaths occurred.

The Population Fund called for increased efforts to link reproductive health programmes and HIV prevention by promoting the correct use of male and female condoms, and detecting and managing sexually transmitted infections.

"Programmes need to train all providers to help clients assess HIV risk and counsel them about avoiding both disease and unintended pregnancy," the report noted.

Voluntary testing and counselling (VCT) services were often introduced in isolation from other services, but pilot projects in Cote d'Ivoire and India had shown that integrating VCT into sexual and reproductive health services could reduce stigma and save money.

Condom use remained a major challenge in developing countries as "massive shortfalls in supply" and limited resources prohibited wider use. Married women were often unable to negotiate condom use even when they knew their husbands had multiple partners, the report acknowledged.

Ten years after an international forum met in Cairo to develop an action plan for women's reproductive healthcare in developing countries, lack of funding remains a major problem, UNFPA said.

Donors agreed to provide US $6.1 billion a year for population and reproductive health programmes by 2005, a third of the total needed. In 2002 contributions reached around $3.1 billion - only half their commitment, the report remarked.


Recent AFRICA Reports
IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 203, 15 October 2004,  15/Oct/04
Full impact of AIDS yet to be felt - UN Commission,  14/Oct/04
AIDS orphan village planned,  12/Oct/04
Experts explore rural impact of AIDS,  12/Oct/04
Millions lack access to ARVs - UN study,  12/Oct/04

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