Commentary & Opinion
Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report Summarizes Editorials, Opinion Pieces Related to AIDS Conference
August 21, 2006
Several newspapers have published editorials and opinion pieces in observance of the XVI International AIDS Conference, which was held August 13 through August 18 in Toronto. Summaries appear below.
- Charles Emlet, Seattle Post-Intelligencer: An important "public health threat" that has "gone largely unnoticed" is the impact of HIV/AIDS among people over age 50, Emlet -- associate professor of social work at the University of Washington-Tacoma and editor of "HIV/AIDS and Older Adults: Challenges for Individuals, Families and Communities" -- writes in a Post-Intelligencer opinion piece. "One thing is for certain," Emlet writes, concluding, "We can't afford to pretend we don't know that the growing population of older Americans is at risk and that the nation faces an expanded HIV/AIDS-related public health threat" (Emlet, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 8/18).
- Carol Goar, Toronto Star: "AIDS is exposing all the ugly secrets we thought we could conceal, live with or shrug off," columnist Goar writes in a Star opinion piece. "[I]gnorance, prejudice, enmity, indifference and selfishness" has allowed the spread of HIV/AIDS to continue, Goar says, adding, "[M]edicine has no cure" for these social issues and even if a successful vaccine is developed, the "next cunning virus will be able to outsmart us just as effectively" (Goar, Toronto Star, 8/18).
- Barbara Yaffe, Vancouver Sun: The AIDS conference was a "perfect opportunity" for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to "show off a touchy-feely, caring, feel-your-pain side," columnist Yaffe writes in a Sun opinion piece. According to Yaffe, Harper has spent "scant time on any social policy issue," and his government has been working to "remind Canadians that social programs are a provincial preserve." Such an attitude "raises a question" about what he will do about other social programs that need "an extension of federal cooperation to continue," Yaffe writes (Yaffe, Vancouver Sun, 8/17).
Economist: In the search for an HIV/AIDS vaccine, there have been 85 "trials of more than 30 substances in 20 years, and no success," an Economist editorial says, adding, "Some people never give up -- and rightly so." The Economist suggests that funding is adequate, that vaccine research has been reorganized, and that the experience of long-term nonprogressors provides the potential basis for a vaccline, concluding, "All that remains is for the knights to charge" (Economist, 8/19).
Las Vegas Sun: Although it is "heartening to note that new drug therapies have enabled many more people" living with HIV to "live longer and better," the U.S. "must find ways to decrease" the number of new HIV cases, a Sun editorial says. "Old prevention strategies obviously are not doing the job," the editorial concludes (Las Vegas Sun, 8/17).
Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "More than in the past, the world is pulling together to attack AIDS," a Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial says. Although progress is being made, "education, scientific advances and political commitment" must continue to improve to meet upcoming challenges in the fight against HIV/AIDS (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 8/17).
- Economist: Making antiretroviral drugs "available by the end of the decade to all who need it" is a goal the Group of Eight industrialized nations should be sure to "understand what they are getting themselves into" before proceeding with the target, an Economist editorial says, adding that if the universal treatment target is "met tomorrow, it would cost" $6 billion to $7 billion annually. According to the editorial, this plan would be a "huge commitment," and G8 nations should not "start what [they] cannot finish" (Economist, 8/19).
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Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2006 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.