Health

AIDS Takes A Toll On The Environment

| Thu Jul. 5, 2007 6:44 PM EDT

AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa is taking its toll on the natural world. Nature reports from South Africa, and the annual meeting of the Society for Conservation Biology, that the disease is acting on communities in a multitude of ways. Game wardens and other conservation workers have died, while others miss work to care for ill loved ones. Families that have lost their primary breadwinners turn to the land for food and fuel. In some places, timber harvesting for coffins is causing deforestation. Researchers from the University of Witwatersrand surveyed several hundred families in the rural northeast of South Africa, where about one in four people are HIV positive. JULIA WHITTY

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