HIV/AIDS Epidemic Is ‘Defining Crisis’ of Modern Society, Commentary Says
The HIV/AIDS epidemic is the "defining crisis of our time," and "history's verdict will be harsh" if modern nations fail to provide treatments for those who cannot afford them, Dan Rather states in an op-ed in the Albany Times Union. By 2011, AIDS-related causes could be responsible for the deaths of nearly 100 million people -- almost twice the number that have died from the bubonic plague throughout history -- even though, unlike in medieval Europe, modern biomedicine has created treatments to help those who are infected. "Not nearly enough" is being done to fight HIV/AIDS, and until we are able to control the HIV/AIDS epidemic, "all other efforts toward peace, democracy and development will be compromised," Rather states. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that it will take $10 billion annually to fight HIV/AIDS, and this amount "will prove a bargain" if it can save the lives of millions who would otherwise die from AIDS-related causes, Rather concludes (Rather, Albany Times Union, 8/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.