Ugandan HIV-Positive Priest Urges European Union To Increase AIDS Funding
Canon Gideon Byamugisha, believed to be the first African priest to publicly admit being HIV-positive, this week met with leaders of the European Union to urge increased support for the African AIDS epidemic, the European Voice reports (Cronin, European Voice, 5/22). The European Union on Tuesday approved a $468 million program to fight poverty-related diseases, such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and to promote reproductive health in developing countries (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/22). The scheme is due to be formally adopted by the governments on June 17 or June 18. While World Vision, the charity that Byamugisha represents, welcomed the funding, it argued that far more money is needed to stem the spread of the disease. Byamugisha is "one of the lucky few" Ugandans who, with the financial support of friends and his bishop, has been able to obtain antiretroviral treatment, the Voice reports. He expressed optimism that the World Trade Organization would be able to reach an agreement amending intellectual property laws so that cheaper generic antiretrovirals could be made available as part of a "multi-pronged" attack on the disease, according to the Voice (European Voice, 5/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.