United States Must Make ‘Real Commitment’ To Fighting AIDS Among Blacks, Africans, Opinion Piece Says
Reparations for Africans, which would address the "consequences" of "centuries of slavery, colonialism and exploitation," are "necessary to enable Africans to meet today's challenges," especially HIV/AIDS, Salih Booker, executive director of Africa Action, a Washington, D.C.-based Africa advocacy organization, writes in a Christian Science Monitor opinion piece. "The disproportionate impact of AIDS on blacks is closely related to the history of oppression and discrimination that people of African descent share," Booker says, adding that the poverty and marginalization that "remain the most important aspects of the continued legacy of slavery and colonialism" have increased Africans' vulnerability to AIDS. The same "racist double standard" that justified the oppression of slavery is evident in the failure of Western policymakers to properly respond to the AIDS pandemic, Booker writes. "While the debate over reparations continues, it must be an immediate priority to address the urgent crisis of HIV/AIDS, which has become the most serious threat to the survival of the black race since the transatlantic slave trade," Booker says. The United States must make a "real commitment" to fighting AIDS among blacks by increasing funding for AIDS Drug Assistance Programs and other domestic HIV/AIDS programs; forgiving Africa's external debts; and rectifying its "shameful failure" to provide sufficient funding to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Booker concludes (Booker, Christian Science Monitor, 6/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.