Published: Monday 15 January 1996

Around 2,000 doctors from all over the world assembled for the ninth international conference on AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, which opened on December 10 at Kampala, the capital of Uganda. AIDS has attained proportions of a national tragedy in Uganda. Educational efforts to fight the disease have yielded few results.

Around 8.5 million people in Africa have been infected by the HIV virus, which amounts to 60 per cent Of HIV Victims worldwide. Thirty per cent of adults in the Ugandan cities are HIV infected. Anti-AIDS campaigns have so far focussed on education and a battle against superstition. in remote villages, people still believe that the disease is inflicted by witchcraft and that those infected are under a spell. For many Africans, AIDS is like any other tropical disease.

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