According to the World Health Organization, the AIDS epidemic has impacted more than 47 million people throughout the world, with more than 2 million deaths in 1998. Although AIDS drug cocktails have been developed in the United States to slow the death rate, most of the epidemic is, and has been, taking place in the developing world. The estimates are that at least 95 percent of all cases now exist in the developing world, with most of those cases involving young people. There has also been a huge increase in the incidence of cases occurring among women (King, 2000).
It is only recently, however, that political and business leaders globally are beginning to realize the dimensions of the problem and the costs of the AIDS epidemic. A New York Times editorial noted that the AIDS epidemic threatens not only lives, but economic development and political stability throughout the developing world (The global plague of AIDS, 2000).
In an initiative that ranks in the category of "better late than never," the World Bank finally committed to spending substantial sums of money in addressing the problem of AIDS in poor countries. According to the bank's president, the Bank would ensure that no sensible program failed from lack of money. The World Bank guaranteed to either provide the money themselves or help the country raise money to provide the services (The global plague of AIDS, 2000). One wonders about this final proviso, which may simply mean escalating the debt of poor countries even further. Nonetheless, it seems a beginning in recognizing that the global epidemic cannot be stopped without significant help from the richer countries and from organizations like the World Bank.
The AIDS epidemic in India seems to have taken hold during this decade, significantly later than those in Africa and the United States. For example, the first clear epidemiological impact of HIV/AIDS noted in India according to the AIDS Research a...