AIDS Life Expectancy and Nineteenth Century Leicester

1 November 2001

Projected life expectancy in 2015

(Population Reference Bureau – Internet under “World Population” November 2001)

With AIDS Without AIDS
Zimbabwe 33 74
Swaziland 31 63
South Africa 37 70
Namibia 33 70
Botswana 30 74

COMMENT BY GD: The most remarkable figure here is the fall in life expectancy in Botswana. Botswana is one of the better off countries in the region, much wealthier than Zambia, yet its AIDS epidemic is severe.

This seems to confirm the findings of many researchers which show that AIDS affects the well-to-do even more than the poor. Medical staff, teachers, civil servants, business managers and others from this section of society have all been shown to have a high rate of infection.

AIDS is a preventable disease. The Catholic method of prevention (one man, one woman) is free; the Family Planning method is almost free.

Abbey Pumping Station Museum, Leicester

Leicester’s population had grown rapidly in the 19th century, from 17,000 in 1801 to 120,000 in 1881. The sewage produced by these people had overwhelmed the capacity of Wickstead’s Patent Solid Sewage Manufacturing Company, which had opened a plant in 1856. As a result, unacceptable levels of sewage were entering the river Soar.

Infant mortality rates in Leicester
(per thousand)
In Zambia before AIDS
(per thousand)
1892 197 1950-55 150
1893 220 1970-75 100
1894 162 1990-95 7

Leicester’s rapid population increase in the 19th century, which overwhelmed the sewage system, is slow when compared with the huge population increase in all the towns of Zambia in the last 50 years. Lusaka has gone up from about 30,000 to about 1,000,000. Livingstone from about 8000 to 120,000. How is their sewage system working?