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Commentary & Opinion
Opinion: South African Government Should Take Responsibility for HIV/AIDS Treatment

February 5, 2013

Noting the many successes of PEPFAR, Stuart Rennie, co-principal investigator of NIH/Fogarty bioethics grants for the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa, writes in his "Global Bioethics Blog," "HIV requires lifelong treatment, and it is not healthy to have your existence depend on the decisions of a foreign government, especially an economically sputtering and lurching superpower." He notes PEPFAR will be withdrawing some South African funding, writing, "This unwelcome development has not gathered much attention in the international press, although the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has weighed in, launching a press release stating that President Obama's cutting of global AIDS funding is 'shameful.'" However, "[t]he shame should at least be shared by the South African government, in particular the Department of Health, whose ultimate responsibility it is to provide reasonable access to HIV/AIDS services for citizens who need them," Rennie writes, concluding, "It is not the sort of responsibility you can outsource to foreigners in perpetuity" (2/4).

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