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A. Do World Bank Policies Lead to AIDS?

Narrator: This is Science Today. World Bank lending policies lead to the spread of AIDS in developing countries, according to a study led by researcher Peter Lurie of the University of California, San Francisco. Lurie says that in return for loans to prop up shaky economies, the World Bank demands that developing countries switch from growing food to exporting raw materials, driving farms out of business and forcing people to the cities for work.

Lurie: As people go into the urban areas in search for work, one of the things that happens is the breakup of the family. And the men usually go into the city to look for work, sometimes they sleep with casual sexual partners in the city, get infected, and then when they go back to the rural area they may bring HIV with them.

Narrator: Exports are then carried by truck drivers on extensive road systems between city and country.

Lurie: In fact, if you look at HIV infection rates, one of the highest rates occurs among truck drivers.

Narrator: Finally, says Lurie, the World Bank encourages austerity programs that mandate cuts in government spending for health care, including treatment and prevention of AIDS. For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.