Wednesday, December 19, 2007

HIV Rates Rising in Indigenous Communities

December 3, 2007

HIV/AIDS is spreading among indigenous communities around the world, according to a report by Survival International (, 11/30).

The report, titled “Progress Can Kill,” mentioned communities in Indonesia, Botswana and Brazil as examples.

“Tribal people die because their land is invaded and taken and because they succumb to outside diseases they never knew before,” said the group’s director, Stephen Corry, in a statement. “Increasingly now we can add HIV/AIDS to the list of killers. It is striking the most vulnerable peoples of all: those who have no grasp of the risks of unprotected sex; no access to condoms; no appropriate treatment; and whose numbers are already small.”

According to the report, the HIV/AIDS rate in West Papua, home to 312 different tribes, is 15 times higher than the rate for Indonesia as a whole.