20 September 2006

Death as Economic Opportunity

I discovered this image on the BBC web page this afternoon. accompanied by the following account:

"Death. James Elder, working for the children’s charity Unicef in Zimbabwe, describes how Aids is affecting family life in the southern African country. Zimbabwe’s is the world's fastest-shrinking economy outside a war zone - unemployment has reached more than 70% and inflation recently topped 1,200%. James traveled to the village of Murambinda, about three hours south-east from the capital, Harare, where HIV prevalence is more than 30%. Here death is one of the few growth industries. " [Photos: © Giacomo Pirozz. Text: James Elder]

This observation helped me reframe a perplexity that I have had about right-wing strategies for confronting the still expanding epidemic of HIV/Aids in the developing world. Is the practice of pushing abstinence policies meant not as a public health measure but as a perverse spur to ecconomic development?

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