Not long ago Stephen Lewis, United Nations special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, toured Zimbabwe. He stopped by an elementary school and asked the children what most troubled them. Their answers were revealing for their bleakness: seven out of 10 replied, "Death."

Lewis then traveled to Zambia, where he saw fields of cabbages. He asked the villagers whether they had enough to eat. "Yes," they told him, "we even have cabbages to sell." "What do you do with your profits?" he asked. "We buy coffins," they replied.