Utah Valley Global Health Group

A blog about global health for those living in Utah Valley and their friends.

21%, 23%

Posted by chads on May 9, 2007

My heart aches right now.

I just opened a report from some of the public health workers in Mozambique that I have worked with. They recently started an HIV testing center in a small town, and the results of the first group of people to be tested were in that report. Twenty-three percent of the women tested were positive, and 21% of the men.

I knew that the percentages were about that high. My heart aches this morning, I guess, because I know the people behind those numbers. I know that they will likely suffer from opportunistic infections like tuberculosis and Kaposi’s sarcoma and diarrhea, that they will loose weight and develop painful sores, and cough. I know that they will not be able to work or go to school, and that they will likely leave children as orphans.  They will all die prematurely if not treated.

I also know that their conditions were preventable, and are currently treatable. Thanks to an unlikely collaboration of PEPFAR, HAI, and a small NGO, they just might be saved. To avoid this tragedy in the future, however, their health system must be strengthened.

It’s 5am and I am in a hotel in Denver, Colorado. My heart, however, is in Mozambique.

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