The City Losing Its Children to H.I.V.

A tragedy of public health.

As of Nov. 30, an astonishing 1,132 children in the city of Ratodero in Pakistan were H.I.V.-positive, most of them under age 13. To put this in perspective, the equivalent figure for the entire United States is less than 2,000; the American population, 330 million, is a thousand times that of the Ratodero metropolitan area. The pandemic has strained, if not wrecked, many countries' health systems and left many people poor and vulnerable — a reality that Ratodero has long been reckoning with.

In our cover story this week, Helen Ouyang reports on how the pediatric outbreak in Ratodero reveals the urgency of resuming progress on global health in the post-Covid era.


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