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Ivorian War Spurs West Africa's AIDS Nightmare

“The girls all love us because of what we are fighting for,” laughs Ivory Coast rebel fighter Mantou Cisse, surrounded by young female admirers. “Worry about AIDS? There is no AIDS in Bouake,” he says confidently in a rebel stronghold where young men with guns now lay down the law. But there is AIDS in Bouake. In fact it was one of the more heavily affected parts of the West African country before a war blew up last September and changed what was once a haven of stability into bloodshed and chaos. Now the conflict threatens to encourage the spread of the HIV virus that causes AIDS and put yet another seal on Ivory Coast’s hopes of ever regaining its place as a prosperous exception in a region of turmoil and despair. Full Story

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