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NPR Series Examines Global Progress Against AIDS

In a special series called “AIDS: A Turning Point,” NPR reports on global progress against HIV/AIDS ahead of the AIDS 2012 conference taking place in Washington, D.C., this month. As part of the series, NPR’s “Morning Edition” examines Botswana’s response to the epidemic, writing, “A decade ago, Botswana was facing a national crisis as AIDS appeared on the verge of decimating the country’s adult population. Now, Botswana provides free, life-saving AIDS drugs to almost all of its citizens who need them.” According to the show, “Part of the reason Botswana’s HIV treatment program has been effective is that the country moved relatively quickly to address the epidemic” and “over the course of the epidemic, Botswana has steadily increased its own spending on HIV” (7/9).

In a separate “Morning Edition” story, NPR examines HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Kenya, writing, “Nationwide, roughly six percent of adults in Kenya are infected with HIV. But the rate among [MSM] is more than three times the national average.” The news service notes, “Health officials in Kenya say reducing the transmission of HIV among [MSM] is a central part of their national AIDS strategy,” but “they face serious challenges, including the fact that homosexuality is still a crime in the East African nation.” NPR adds, “The stigma toward homosexuality creates a broader health problem, as [MSM] maintain heterosexual relationships to fit in in society” (Beaubien, 7/9).

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