Commentary & Opinion
Increase U.S. Funding for Global HIV/AIDS
January 14, 2011
President Barack Obama's Global Health Initiative is "pitting AIDS against other diseases by making investments in new areas of global health contingent on flat funding for efforts to fight the HIV epidemic," HIV/AIDS advocate and Yale College student Gregg Gonsalves writes in a Washington Post opinion piece. "What the president is doing has deadly consequences -- leaving funding for AIDS programs flat will lead to more deaths and new infections around the world, just as progress is being made in many countries."
Gonsalves writes that "the president has received pleas from Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Doctors Without Borders, more than 30 deans of schools of medicine and public health, and other global health experts. The core of their common message: We can build on the successes against AIDS to boost efforts on maternal and child health, neglected diseases and strengthening health systems; there is no need to pit worthy priorities against each other, particularly when a comprehensive approach would cost far less than the bank bailouts and, yes, the estate tax repeal that the president signed into law last month."
Addressing concerns that HIV treatment is becoming cost prohibitive, Gonsalves writes "that many other analyses support the wisdom of providing these life-saving medicines and that for almost a decade there has been a bipartisan and expert consensus on the need to greatly expand access to AIDS drugs in the developing world." He concludes: "AIDS activists have been global health activists all along, with many calling for health-care reform in the United States since the epidemic first appeared and for strengthening primary care in the developing world for more than a decade. What we don't support is this administration's either/or approach to global health. But we don't know how to get the president to stop fighting us and turn his sights on a foe far more formidable than we are: the AIDS epidemic, still out of control, 30 years after it began in 1981" (1/13).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily U.S. HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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