Tuesday, June 10, 2008

AIDS in Central Asia

Newsnight ran an incredibly moving piece on the rise and rise of HIV/AIDS in the ex-Soviet republics, focussing on Kyrgyzstan. Despite millions of dollars of funding (probably in the form of the World Bank's notorious structural adjustment loans) rates of infection are soaring in Central Asia.

The piece looked at an alarming cause for the spread of HIV in addition to prostitution and drug use: substandard medical practice such as non-sterile procedures and needless blood transfusions (the blood bank being fuelled by unscreened donors). Children were the victims. The mothers of these accidentally infected children are stigmatised, ostracised and frequently banished from their households.

It's got me dusting off my copy of Malaysian academic, Prof Malik Badri's heavily criticised The Aids Crisis: An Islamic Socio-Cultural Perspective.

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