Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Imagens de VIH/SIDA em Luanda
Miss Angola says "It's better to be safe." This is the Instituto Nacional de Luta Contra SIDA. It's a beautiful building. Our hotel is right across the street. Around the corner, there is a mural with details about HIV transmission, myths and advice.
The CDC Angola country page reports that in 2008 the HIV rate among 15 to 49 year olds was around 2.1%. As strange as it sounds, the civil war here, which lasted from around 1975 to 2002 (although some people say as late as 2006) provided a buffer against HIV throughout the '80s and '90s. The war prevented large movement of people in or out of the country. Internal displacement concentrated people around Luanda. The highest rates of HIV in Angola are found near the borders with Namibia, Zambia and the DRC. Now that the war is over, trade between these countries and Angola has increased. The roads have improved and people are more mobile than they once were. This is a critical moment for Angola. With the right steps, it may be possible to avoid the infection rates found in most of Southern Africa.