Increased International AIDS Spending ‘Serves Our Government’s Broader Interests’, St. Petersburg Times Editorial Says
U.S. senators must "act quickly" and pass a resolution that would authorize increasing international AIDS spending to improve chances that the measure will be fully funded in the appropriations process, a St. Petersburg Times editorial says. The resolution, a companion to the House version passed last month, would authorize increasing annual international disease funding from $675 million to $1.3 billion, "more than half" of which could be used to "curb HIV/AIDS and the opportunistic infections" associated with the virus, according to the editorial. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan estimates that $7 billion to $10 billion is needed annually in the U.N. Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to "figh[t] the ravages of infectious diseases on all ... fronts." However, "only $1.6 billion in pledges" has been given to the fund since it was established last year. Although to most Americans the AIDS epidemic "may seem remote and nonthreatening," the disease and the poverty resulting from the epidemic "are insidious agents of instability in the world, and the international community has a huge stake in combatting them," the editorial says. "Joining an international campaign against AIDS and other infectious diseases is not only the humanitarian thing to do: It also serves our government's broader interests of peace and stability in the world," the editorial concludes (St. Petersburg Times, 1/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.