Clinton Becoming ‘Major Player’ in Fight Against AIDS Epidemic, USA Today Columnist Says
While it is "hard to decipher whether [former President Bill] Clinton is primarily motivated by guilt, restlessness or the awareness that AIDS is a problem worthy of his underutilized talents and energy," it is "indisputable" that he has been "assembling the resources to become a major player in the global AIDS battle," columnist Walter Shapiro writes in his USA Today column. Instead of "adding redundancy" to the efforts of President Bush and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation is utilizing the former president's "unique grasp of the complex intersection of politics and policy" and his ability to "leverage with the leaders of the disease-ravaged nations" in an effort to negotiate lower antiretroviral drug prices for such countries, Shapiro says (Shapiro, USA Today, 6/18). Clinton on Monday announced at a briefing in his Harlem, N.Y., office that his foundation is aiming to treat at least 700,000 AIDS patients in Africa and the Caribbean over the next five years. 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 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/17). Shapiro concludes that it is "telling" that Clinton has decided to use his "authority" abroad to fight "the most devastating epidemic of our time" (USA Today, 6/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.