Monday, March 19, 2007

The monster that lurks beneath - another war for Afghanistan to wage

As if Afghanistan doesn’t have enough problems to deal with, this New York Times article profiles another : AIDS. It is struggling to rebuild the country as Taliban forces resurface, and the pandemic is kept shrouded in stigma and ignorance. Bordered by countries which have the fastest-growing incidence of AIDS in the world – Russia, China and India, and another two which have known problems of drug addiction and a growing HIV-positive population – Pakistan and Iran, the country is crippled with multiple problems that we can only pray are solved sooner rather than later. The situation clearly does not look good though, with ‘health workers remaining ill-informed and careless, often reusing needles even when they know it risks spreading the disease’. In a 2003 survey of 126 women working in the sex trade in Kabul, an NGO working in Afghanistan also reported that only one was familiar with condoms and only one had knowledge of HIV/AIDS. Five years down the lane, one cannot hope for much change on that front - there are too many battles being fought in the country as it is.

And so another Monday morning in 2007 commences....

Picture by Aaron Huey/Atlas Press, for The New York Times - Heroin users shooting up among ruined buildings in the old section of Kabul. Injectable heroin first hit the city’s streets about five years ago.

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