Funding, Leadership Necessary to Fight HIV/AIDS in Caribbean, Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs Says in Op-Ed
HIV/AIDS "poses a serious threat in human, economic and social terms to the [Caribbean], as well as to the United States," U.S. Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky writes in an opinion piece appearing in the Washington Times. "This is a crucial time in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean basin," she says, noting that the region has the second-worst HIV/AIDS problem behind sub-Saharan Africa and adding that "[c]oncerted, intensive action can keep the epidemic from exploding." She states that U.S.-Caribbean tourism, migration and commerce can play a part in spreading the virus but also in fighting the epidemic. She notes that U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has asked all U.S. ambassadors in the region to "use their positions to engage proactively and visibly in the fight" against the disease and that USAID, CDC and HHS have all begun HIV/AIDS-related programs and outreach in the region. "The HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Caribbean outstrips the region's capabilities to address the problem, creating a need for financial and technical support. However, funding is not the only ingredient needed to fight this epidemic," she says, noting that "strong leadership" is necessary from both Caribbean and U.S. leaders. "Rising to the enormous challenge of defeating HIV/AIDS requires the Caribbean to be united and committed. There simply is no other option," Dobriansky concludes (Dobriansky, Washington Times, 5/27). The Center for Strategic and International Studies on Friday sponsored a conference on Haiti's response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Sessions from the conference, which was held in Washington, D.C., are available online from kaisernetwork.org HealthCast.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.