Clinton Foundation Plans To Treat 700,000 AIDS Patients in Africa, Caribbean Over Next Five Years
The William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation is aiming to treat at least 700,000 AIDS patients in Africa and the Caribbean over the next five years, former President Clinton said yesterday at a briefing in his Harlem, N.Y., office, the AP/Long Island Newsday reports. Clinton said that he would be pleased if the foundation was able to help even more HIV/AIDS patients, adding, "But in order to do it we not only have to have the money and the availability of the medicine, we have to have the infrastructure." The foundation is currently working with officials from Rwanda, Mozambique, Tanzania and several Caribbean countries to subsidize HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs. He also said that he hoped the foundation would be able to create a treatment and prevention model that could be used in other countries, including India and the former Soviet Union, according to AP/Newsday.
Openness to Change
Clinton said, "By and large, particularly in the Caribbean and in Africa, there's not much denial anymore. They want to do the right thing. There's an openness to making these changes and cooperation at the local level that you didn't see four or five years ago" (Matthews, AP/Long Island Newsday, 6/16). Clinton also said that during his first term as president, the majority of "what we did about AIDS was in America. ... We saw a 70% drop in the death rate from AIDS here, but we didn't appreciate the explosive growth of the epidemic around the world," adding, "We didn't do enough [about HIV/AIDS] during my second term" (Flam, Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/17). The foundation in April organized discussions among the Caribbean Community and several pharmaceutical companies to negotiate reduced-cost antiretroviral drugs for people in the region who are living with HIV/AIDS. The price of combination antiretroviral treatment is now $800 per person per year in the region, down from last year's annual price of $1,000 per person. The foundation also assisted the Bahamian government in creating a business plan that calls for the provision of antiretroviral therapy for all HIV-positive people within three years (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/25).