Former President Clinton Says AIDS Is Security Issue That Threatens Political Stability
The fight against HIV/AIDS is not only a humanitarian issue but also an issue of international security that could lead to "massive political instability," former President Bill Clinton said on Tuesday while speaking to reporters in Oslo, Norway, AFP/Yahoo! News reports. "If we go from 40 million to 100 million AIDS cases over the decade as it has been predicted, you will see a dramatic change in the political life of the former Soviet Union. We could lose democracies there, we could lose democracies in the Caribbeans," Clinton said (AFP/Yahoo! News, 11/4). He added, "If you believe in democracy, and you believe in freedom, and if you want more partners and fewer terrorists, the rest of the world has to do something about the problem" (Mellgren, Associated Press, 11/4). When asked whether he thought AIDS was a more potent threat to the world than terrorism, Clinton said, "Right now AIDS affects more people, but I wouldn't say that. What I think is that we can't think about one to the exclusion of the other" (Reuters, 11/4). Clinton spoke to reporters after negotiations over AIDS funding with Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik. Bondevik announced plans for a partnership with the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation to fight AIDS in Tanzania and Mozambique. "Our contribution could reach $25 million over the next five years provided that the cooperation evolves successfully," Bondevik said (AFP/Yahoo! News, 11/4). The foundation last month announced the details of a program to secure antiretroviral drugs from generic drug manufacturers at discounted prices and to implement nationwide treatment plans in some African and Caribbean nations (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.