Colorado Lawmakers Should Support Increased Funding for Domestic, International AIDS, Editorial Says
While the world must continue its efforts to curb the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome, it should be put in perspective that AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria together pose a greater threat, killing 16,000 people daily in comparison to the 250 people total who have died from SARS, a Denver Post editorial says. The United States must therefore "remember [its] leadership role" in fighting AIDS and other diseases and pass a bill (HR 1298) currently before the House to fund a global AIDS initiative, according to the editorial (Denver Post, 4/29). The House International Relations Committee on April 2 approved 37-8 the bill, sponsored by Committee Chair Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), that would authorize $15 billion over five years to fight international AIDS. The bill would allocate $3 billion a year for five years for international HIV/AIDS programs, with up to $1 billion in fiscal year 2004 going to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/24). While the Bush administration, "which is not fond of multilateralism," considers the global fund to be "dubious ... at best," the organization is "already set up to do just what Bush's [AIDS] plan requires." The editorial continues, "It doesn't make sense to create entirely new programs to duplicate what the global fund can do, and already has done." In addition, funding for AIDS has dropped domestically. After Congress passes an international AIDS bill, Colorado lawmakers should "turn their attention to the domestic fight" against the disease. The editorial concludes, "The battle is far from being won ... [b]ut it's a battle that must be fought" (Denver Post, 4/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.