Piot Urges Malawi to Mount ‘Vigorous War’ on AIDSPeter Piot, executive director of UNAIDS, yesterday "urged" Malawi to "mount a vigorous war" against the AIDS epidemic during a visit to the country, Reuters reports. Piot, on a trip to Malawi and Tanzania to "encourage the governments to intensify their antiAIDS message," said that the epidemic "threatens to reverse decades of economic and political progress" in Malawi. Many people "still [do] not talk about AIDS and refus[e] to recognize that it [is] a major threat," Piot said. AIDS in Africa remains "hidden," he said, adding that there is a need to "foster a vigorous response." AIDS is seen as the "most critical development challenge for this impoverished and landlocked country," as 8% of Malawi's population of 10 million is infected (Reuters, 2/7).
Sweden Announces Money for Sex Ed
The Swedish International Development Cooperation has announced that the Swedish government will donate $1.4 million to Malawi for two sex education projects aimed at teachers and youths ages 10 to 25, the Associated Press/IPPF News reports. The education projects, designed to increase awareness of safe sex and HIV transmission, are "one of the most important steps in the efforts to reduce the sprea[d] of HIV and AIDS" in Malawi, according to SIDA spokesperson Anna Runeborg. She added that 25% of Malawi's girls are "forced" to drop out of high school because they become pregnant (Associated Press/IPPF News, 1/2).