Pubdate: Mon, 24 Apr 2000
Date: 04/24/2000
Source: New York Times (NY)
Author: Dawn Day

In an April 21 news article, we learn that South Africa's  government
``has refused to make AZT available in public clinics even though
studies have shown its use can protect the babies of H.I.V.-infected
mothers.''  In a letter setting forth his position, President Thabo
Mbeki asserts his government's right to resist the ``superimpositon of
Western experience on African reality.''

As we shake our heads at the growing AIDS tragedy in South Africa, let
us remember that we have a very similar situation here in the United
States.  Federal H.I.V. prevention funds cannot be used for needle
exchange programs, even though we are aware that needle exchange
programs could save hundreds of lives each year.

As we think critical thoughts of South Africa, we Americans need to
ask ourselves what belief system is governing policy making in Washington.

Princeton, N.J.