Globe Editorial Calls Increased Funding for Foreign HIV/AIDS Efforts Better But Still ‘Far from Adequate’
"Six months after the first U.N. General Assembly special session on AIDS, Congress is getting close to agreement on a level of spending for international AIDS programs that is much better than this year's but still far from adequate," a Boston Globe editorial states. Congress' international AIDS appropriation for next year will likely include about $460 million in bilateral assistance to nongovernmental groups, as well as the $200 million committed by President Bush last summer to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Although the appropriation is an improvement over the $325 million spent on international HIV/AIDS programs this year, "the effort is dwarfed by the threat AIDS poses to life and social stability in the countries where it is spreading," the editorial states. It notes that the House recently approved by voice vote a $1.3 billion authorization for international HIV/AIDS programs, which includes $750 million for the global fund and $50 million for a pilot program to help developing countries acquire antiretroviral drugs. The authorization does not itself allocate money but signals "broad-based support for more U.S. funding," the Globe says. According to the editorial, less than 1% of the federal budget, or about $15 billion, is spent on foreign aid. "That figure, embarrassingly lower on a per-capita basis than in other developed countries, reflects indifference to what goes on beyond America's borders. The United States should fight AIDS with the resolve and leadership worthy of a world power," the editorial concludes (Boston Globe, 12/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.