United States Cannot Continue to ‘Sleep’ Through Global AIDS Epidemic, CBS News Anchor Dan Rather Writes
Future historians might view AIDS as "the defining challenge of our time," but they might also ask "why the affluent world slept during the greatest health calamity to befall Earth in the past seven centuries," "CBS Evening News" anchor Dan Rather writes in a Houston Chronicle op-ed. The United States has become "complacent" about HIV/AIDS, and terrorism has emerged as the country's "No. 1 focus," Rather states. "But consider: The attacks of Sept. 11 killed just over 3,000 people. Today alone, more than 8,000 people will die worldwide from AIDS. Thirteen thousand more will contract the disease," Rather writes. He states that the advent of antiretroviral treatment, "bigotry" toward homosexuals and "cultural squeamishness" about sexually transmitted diseases have all contributed to the United States' reluctance to address HIV/AIDS. But the AIDS epidemic is "swelling and spreading" in countries all over the world, he says. "Wars garner headlines, but the AIDS plague constitutes as dire a threat to our national and global security as any armed group. Why we continue to sleep through it remains a mystery," Rather concludes (Rather, Houston Chronicle, 3/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.