The HIV infection rate among soldiers in South Africa’s National Defence Force may be as high as 60 to 70 percent, the Johannesburg MAIL & GUARDIAN reports. In some areas, the picture is even more bleak. One unit in KwaZulu-Natal underwent HIV-testing as part of a thorough physical before participating in a malaria drug study. When thirty out of the thirty-three member unit proved HIV-positive — an infection rate of 90 percent — the drug study had to be abandoned.
And South Africa doesn’t even win this grim race. The overall infection rates in the militaries of Malawi and Zimbabwe, at 75 and 80 percent, are worse still.