AIDS In Africa -- The Nightmare Is Real
Last November, Rolling Stone published Rian Malan's
article 'AIDS in Africa,' a piece questioning the statistics for
AIDS-related deaths in South Africa. A reporter for the
Pacific News Service goes out to refute the RS
article and prove that 'the epidemic of AIDS in Africa is real and
Only a few weeks ago, former South African President Nelson Mandela declared war on the widespread disease. However, writes Donal Brown in his PNS article, 'the last word on AIDS that thousands of Americans may have read -- a lengthy article by an esteemed South African writer in Rolling Stone magazine -- cast grave doubt on the extent of the scourge.'
Picking apart Malan's RS article, Brown challenges Malan for counting the number of caskets. To gauge the rate of death increase, Malan asked various local coffin-makers about their business. None of them noted any increase in sales. Brown points out that in poorer areas many people would build their own, rather than purchase one.
Brown also talks with South African Dr. Jimmy Volmink, director of the Research and Analysis Department at the Global Health Council, and Dr. Neff Walker, senior advisor for estimates and projections for UNAIDS, a United Nations agency, both of whom support his argument. 'Maybe,' writes Brown, 'Malan should have counted memory boxes instead.'
--Sara V. Buckwitz