Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Gates and U.N. Secretary-General Annan Meet in New York to Discuss Global AIDS Crisis
Bill and Melinda Gates met for 45 minutes Thursday in New York with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to discuss the global AIDS crisis, the Las Vegas Sun reports. Although no new donations or initiatives were announced, "there is definitely a possibility that money may be forthcoming," according to Trevor Neilson, director of public affairs for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates reiterated his belief that the search for an AIDS vaccine should be "of prime importance" because it is the "only way to end the disease." Gates has already
pledged $126 million to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. While the current debate over drug prices is important, "Gates stressed that 'the world can't lose sight of the fact that prevention has been proven to work and is a cost-effective and powerful way to stop this terrible situation from getting even worse,'" Neilson said. Gates also said he was "concerned" that developing countries might shift their emphasis from prevention to treatment, a move he said may result in "millions of unnecessary deaths." Gates also said that UNAIDS should "take the leadership role" in the global fight against the disease. The Gateses, who requested the meeting, were accompanied by Patty Stonesifer, president of the Gates Foundation, which has donated $1.5 billion for global health causes over the past two years (Las Vegas Sun, 3/8). A new donation may be announced at the upcoming special session of the U.N. General Assembly, to be held June 25-27 in New York, according to Neilson (Reuters/Philadephia Daily News, 3/9).
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