Wednesday, September 21, 2005

HIV/AIDS and International Security

Laurie Garrett of the Council on Foreign Relations will be participating in a national conference call tomorrow. Her topic is the threat posed by HIV/AIDS, a subject Dan Caldwell and I address in Seeking Security in an Insecure World. Here's a brief excerpt from the book:

HIV/AIDS is recognized as a clear and present danger. By the end of 2004, approximately forty-two million people worldwide were living with HIV/AIDS and twenty million had died from the pandemic. Since the disease was first identified just over twenty years ago, seventy million people have been infected. Three million people died of the disease in 2004 alone. Ninety-five percent of those infected with HIV are in the developing world, almost thirty million in sub-Saharan Africa alone. Every day, eight thousand people worldwide die of HIV/AIDS, and every day there are fourteen thousand new cases, over half of them among people under twenty-five years of age. Within two decades, HIV/AIDS will have surpassed all other diseases, including smallpox, as the most prolific killer in history. An official of the U.S. National Intelligence Council has noted that AIDS "has already killed more people than all the soldiers killed in the major wars of the twentieth century, and equals the toll taken by the bubonic plague in 1347. The bad news about AIDS is that unless something is done in the near future, we’re on a trajectory for things to get much worse." The World Bank estimates that an additional forty-five million people will have become infected with HIV/AIDS in the 2002–10 period.