Go to contents

Women and Children, 53 Percent of the AIDS Infected

Posted June. 24, 2001 20:06,   


``I tried hard not to give birth by jumping from a chair and receiving injections. But, nothing worked. Can somebody take care of this baby? I will die soon because I have AIDS.`` A girl ran into the AIDS center in east Madras, India. She covered her body with a dirty towel because she couldn’t wear the clothes due to the wounds and boils on her body. She was nineteen years old, named Sundari. Tears kept dropping from her big eyes. Her frail body was shaky. In her arms, her two-month old son Georjif was smiling like an angel. Life of poverty followed by mother’s runaway from home, death of father, and the hellish life after having been sold by aunt for the prostitution took out everything from Sundari. Finally, AIDS, that is a punishment from heaven, and the unwanted childbirth visited her. Not only Sundari, but also many third world women are suffering in same situation.

June 1st, Nkosi Johnson, the 12-year-old South African boy who became an icon of the AIDS movement, died of AIDS, leaving many people’s hearts saddened. Johnson was born with the AIDS infected in 1989. Johnson appealed to the world saying ``treat the AIDS infected people as normal human beings`` and worked hard for the human rights of the AIDS infected people.

- General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS: On the 20th anniversary of AIDS discovery, the UN is to hold General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS on 25th through 27th in New York to prevent the spread of AIDS in the global community. This is the first time for the UN to hold the special session on health issue since the birth of the UN in 1945. 26 national leaders including the U.S., Britain, France and other national representatives will participate in the session and they will discuss the worldwide corporation to defeat AIDS. They plan to adopt the manifesto on the labor-management relationship that includes the guarantee of the rights of the AIDS infected labors.

- Infection of Women and Children: Women (2.2 million) and children (0.6 million) consist of 53 percent of a total AIDS infected people (5.3 million). Especially, the rate of African and Asian women who are infected by AIDS increased from 41 percent (1997) to 47 percent out of a total number (36.1 million) of the AIDS infected. Recently, cases of infant infection through blood and breastfeeding have increased. 50 percent of infants who are born with the AIDS infection die before the age of two and 80 percent of them die before five in the developing countries. 80 percent of the AIDS infected children are concentrated in the south of the Sahara Desert in Africa.

- Issue of Orphans: The most serious problem accompanied by the 15,000 new patients everyday is the issue of orphans. According to a report submitted to the International AIDS Conference on 13th, there will be 30 million orphans by 2010, and 90 percent of them will be African children. International Crisis Group (ICG) led by the former U.S. senator George Michel said that ``there will be 40 million orphans by 2010 and this will threat the security of human beings.``

Paik Kyung-Hak stern100@donga.com