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December 17, 2007

photo of Paul
Paul celebrates the end of a year of learning

Paul is a student at the Spring Garden Library Adult learning Program with Coordinator Jennifer Peach.

On a Lecture by Stephen Lewis

by Paul Ochalla

In Africa 2.3 million children are living with HIV/AIDS. Since 2005, 380,000 children have died of AIDS and 540,000 children have gotten newly-infected.  Over 15 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS.

Stephen Lewis talked about leadership in Africa and about women there who work harder than men.  He also talked about women all over the world.

Women don’t have rights the way the man does.  He talked about Europe, Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.  Women and girls make up almost 60% of adults living with HIV.  He talked about the problems in Sudan.  If it was a "White" problem the whole world would be doing something but, because the people are "Black" that’s why nobody talks about that problem.

Lewis spoke about the Five-Year UN Programme on Africa.

This programme, launched in 2004, was to help most people in Africa with education, development, trade and AIDS.  The trade aspect failed but the UN is still there working on other projects.

When Lewis responded to a question about the difference between North, West and South Africa with regard to AIDS transmission, he said that North Africa has less HIV/AIDS than any other place on the African continent because of the prevalent religion.

South Africa has the highest percentage of people living with HIV because of rape and politics.

Sub-Saharan Africa also has a significant HIV/AIDS problem.  East and Central areas have high numbers of infected people too.

In West Africa Nigeria is of particular concern because the population is already large and nearly 10% of the people are infected, as are 5% of people in Ghana.

Stephen Lewis no longer works with the United Nations in his former capacity but returns frequently to Africa as a consultant.

Africa is home to the common ancestor of all mankind so we should be concerned about the future of the people of this continent.

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