AIDS Belt

AIDS Belt

A term used early in the AIDS epidemic, which referred to a group of tropical African nations with more than 1,000 cases of AIDS, where AIDS affected heterosexuals and was linked to increased sexual activity; the "belt" countries were: Burundi, Central African Republic, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, and Zambia.
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Here in Malawi, in the heart of the Sub-Saharan Aids belt, people greet such statements incredulously.
Professor Roger Short, who carried out the study, told the British Medical Journal that lack of circumcision is "the most significant factor" leading to higher HIV levels in the "AIDS belt" of sub-Saharan Africa.
One of the sessions at the annual convention three years ago of the Modern Language Association held in a San Francisco not yet ready to wake into spring-was titled "The Literature of AIDS." At the time I had just returned from two years as a Fulbright lecturer in the Central African country of Rwanda, the buckle, we might say, of the so-called African AIDS belt and the setting for Gorillas in the Mist, the recent Hollywood bio-pic of Dian Fossey.
In the "African AIDS Belt," including countries such as Burundi, the Central African Republic, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, and Zambia, the loss from AIDS due to economic slowing has been estimated at $980 million by 1990.[1]

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