Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report Rounds Up Coverage of Closing of XIV International AIDS Conference
Many newspapers and media outlets this weekend reflected on the findings of the XIV International AIDS Conference, which came to a close on Friday in Barcelona, Spain. Summaries of several articles appear below in alphabetical order:
- BBC News: BBC News reporter Chris Hogg, who covered the conference, said that the end of the event left attendees with one question: "Where is the ten billion [dollars]" that is estimated to be needed annually to fight HIV/AIDS on an international scale? BBC News reports that the question remained unanswered as the conference concluded on Friday with "no sign of the money" (Hogg, BBC News, 7/13).
- Boston Globe: The Globe reported yesterday that "[h]ours" after HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson's address to the conference was interrupted by protestors, economist Jeffrey Sachs, a special advisor to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, told UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot that he wanted to announce that the U.N. would "lay out a plan to finance the battle" against HIV/AIDS within 60 days. Piot told him that a 60-day window was not possible and that he needed at least 90 days to develop such a plan. The Globe reports that the incident offered "telling insight into the makings of global health policy" and could prove to be the "biggest development from the conference," if such a plan is released (Donnelly, Boston Globe, 7/14).
- CNN: Your Health: CNN's "Your Health" on Saturday reported that many Americans, "especially those who are young, black and gay," are "ignoring" warnings about HIV/AIDS. The program also examined new fertility procedures that allow HIV-positive men to father children with little risk to the child or mother and discussed how the Sept. 11 attacks have affected HIV/AIDS funding (Gupta/Hinojosa, "Your Health," CNN, 7/13).
- Los Angeles Times: The Times reports today that "[f]rustration was palpable" at the conference as attendees heard "dire forecasts about the epidemic's toll and limited prospects for new treatments." Seth Berkley, president of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, called the conference a "reality check," while Lee Klosinski of AIDS Project Los Angeles said, "In some ways, it's like the morning after [an] earthquake -- the worst is yet to come" (Maugh, Los Angeles Times, 7/15).
- Miami Herald: The Herald reported Saturday that the conference marked a return by many HIV/AIDS activists to the "hard-core tactics that brought them success in the early days of the epidemic." Examples of such new activism were "everywhere" at the conference, the Herald reports, citing a giant inflatable Coke bottle with skull and crossbones painted on it in protest of Coca-Cola's policies toward its HIV-positive employees. Protestors also interrupted Thompson's speech and "litter[ed]" pharmaceutical companies' booth with "corpses" in protest of high drug prices (Tasker, Miami Herald, 7/13).
- New York Times: The New York Times reflected yesterday on the "flood of alarming statistics" that emerged at the conference, including data on lowered life expectancy for Africans, the projected death toll from AIDS-related causes and the rapidly escalating AIDS epidemics in China and Eastern Europe (French, New York Times, 7/14).
- San Francisco Chronicle: The conference ended "on a weary note" after a week of news that offered "no scientific breakthroughs," the Chronicle reported yesterday. According to the Chronicle, the "crucial" questions that came out of the conference are whether the world is "really paying attention" to officials' warnings or whether "those who came [to Barcelona are] living in a bubble of compassion and commitment that will pop once their jets depart from Spain" (Russell, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/14).
- Sydney Morning Herald: The Morning Herald on Saturday reflected on several world leaders' conference speeches urging more action on HIV/AIDS. Speakers cited include former President Bill Clinton, Sachs and Stephen Lewis, U.N. special adviser on HIV/AIDS in Africa (Pollard, Sydney Morning Herald, 7/13).
- Washington Post: The conference was characterized by a new sense of "globalization," as attendees experienced "a dawning realization that what has been done to fight the epidemic in the world's wealthier nations can probably be done anyplace," the Post reported yesterday. Programs that once seemed "inconceivable, and even foolhardy," will begin over the next several months, including "efforts to massively increase ... prevention" and to deliver AIDS medications to the poorest nations in the world. The Post reports that while these efforts may not be successful, "whether these things will be tried is no longer in doubt" (Brown, Washington Post, 7/14).