By Susan Hunter
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Extra resources for AIDS in Asia: A Continent in Peril
In some countries with very large populations (Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Nigeria, and Ethiopia), HIV epidemics are just taking hold. For another thing, these projections do not include new estimates of epidemic impact in Asia, where the vast majority of human beings live. Epidemics on the Asian mainland—from Eastern Europe through Russia, Central Asia, east to the Paciﬁc, and south to the Indian Ocean—and on the islands of the South China Sea and the Paciﬁc Ocean have taken off more slowly than the African ones but are now rapidly accelerating.
As I traveled from orphanages in Africa to hospices in Russia to clinics in Thailand,” one reporter wrote, “I saw the tortured face of AIDS. It grimaced with the pain of fever and nausea. It gasped with ﬂuid-ﬁlled lungs. It wore huge, open sores that emerged from deep in the throat and spread over the lips, neck, and torso. In advanced stages of the disease, the central nervous system can begin to deteriorate, leaving some victims powerless even to close their eyes and mouths. Nerve endings in the extremities go numb or tingle as if pricked by thousands of needles.
AIDS is also an enormous challenge to human development all around the world. AIDS affects our supplier countries and trade partners in Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa, which means it will dent worldwide standards of living. AIDS is contributing to the destruction of the environment and of the institutions that have supported ordinary social life for centuries of human existence. AIDS weakens armies and leaves borders exposed. ” 18 AIDS in Asia AIDS is increasing our foreign aid responsibility, but it must increase if we are to keep this disease at bay.