Public Health Expert Dr. William Foege Says World is ‘Turning the Corner’ in the Fight Against AIDS
Dr. William Foege, senior global health adviser to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and former CDC director, expressed optimism about the global commitment to fighting AIDS, telling the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "I genuinely think we may have reached the tipping point." Although he acknowledged that the crisis is not over and that the number of HIV cases worldwide will continue to increase for some time, particularly in Africa, China and the Caribbean, he said that the world is finally "facing up to the size of the problem." Foege said he is encouraged by Uganda's success at reducing HIV rates among nearly all areas of its population and the Gates Foundation's pledges of $450 million to fund research to develop a microbicide for women and an AIDS vaccine. He is also encouraged by announcements made by a number of organizations to create or expand anti-AIDS programs. For example, the Coca-Cola company said in June that it would make its trucks, warehouses, "marketing expertise and logistical know-how" in Africa available to UNAIDS, and the Peace Corps and the international relief agency CARE have "focused increasingly on the fight against AIDS as an integral and indispensable part of promoting economic development." Foege said, "I can see light at the end of the tunnel. I can see an interest in AIDS that we've never seen before" (Melvin, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 8/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.