Sunday, July 20, 2003

Gadhafi says: ‘straights’ need not fear HIV and AIDS

MAPUTO, Mozambique (AP)

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi told a conference of African leaders Saturday that Africans who are “straight” need not fear AIDS, which is ravaging many countries on the continent. Speaking through a translator, Gadhafi drew some laughter with his reference to AIDS only affecting gays. He told the closing session of the eight-day annual African Union conference, “All you have to do is observe the rules. If you are straight, you have nothing to fear from AIDS.” Of the 42 million people worldwide infected with HIV, 29 million live in sub-Saharan Africa. AIDS has already killed more than 17 million in sub-Saharan Africa and is the leading cause of death among South African women. More than 11 million African children have lost at least one parent to the pandemic. The devastating AIDS pandemic was one of the major themes of President Bush’s recent five-nation African trip.


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