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BMJ. 2000 Jul 8;321(7253):67.

UN says up to half the teenagers in Africa will die of AIDS.



According to the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS report, AIDS will cause early death in as many as half of the teenagers living in southern Africa. In Botswana, demographers have predicted that two-thirds of the 15-year-olds will die of AIDS before the age of 50. In terms of global estimates, the report indicated that there are 34.3 million people infected with HIV, of whom 1.3 million are children under the age of 15. The impact of the AIDS epidemic is accounted for in the erosion of all key measures of a nation's health, especially in much of sub-Saharan Africa. These key measures include economic development, educational attainment, and child survival. Although there are a few success stories in the countries of Uganda and Thailand, which show that strong prevention campaigns and increased condom use help in curbing the epidemic, the report revealed the need for a massive increase in political will.

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