An epidemic sweeping across southern and eastern Africa reminds me of a hard truth in public health: diseases thrive in places where there is inequity and lack of opportunity. That epidemic -- HIV among adolescent girls and young women -- is threatening to roll back many gains made in the fight against HIV in the past 15 years.
It sounds like a case from the 1950s: a human rights lawyer thrown into jail after daring to criticize the country's judiciary. But Thulani Maseko is unlucky enough to be living in Swaziland, Africa's only remaining absolute monarchy, and to be blessed with the sort of personal courage that makes him vocal about injustice.
It is reassuring to see a new determination to bring the very modern scourge of TB out of the shadows. But neglecting the real potential for faith engagement in the effort is a mistake. It is an engagement with an ancient history and a modern face, one that can bring out the best that faith communities have to offer.