Bush Administration Has ‘Essentially Abandoned’ Plan To Fight AIDS in Asia, Letter to Editor Says
Ellen Nakashima in a Washington Post article on Dec. 13 "described in moving terms how orphans [in Thailand] fear abandonment," Paul Zeitz, executive director of the Global AIDS Alliance, writes in a Post letter to the editor (Zeitz, Washington Post, 12/25/03). Nakashima in the article profiled Thailand's efforts to care for more than 300,000 children -- both HIV-positive and HIV-negative -- who have lost their parents due to AIDS-related death (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/15/03). However, Zeitz says that the Bush administration has "essentially abandoned Thailand and many other countries as they confront" the AIDS epidemic. Zeitz says that no Asian countries were included in the administration's five-year, $15 billion global AIDS initiative. "This deplorable situation is made worse by the low level of U.S. support" for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which supports Thailand and 120 other countries, Zeitz says, adding that Bush has proposed cutting the U.S. contribution from $550 million in 2004 to $200 million in 2005. Zeitz concludes, "We owe it to the orphaned children to look seriously at this issue and start comparing our efforts to the global scale of the crisis, not to what has or has not been done in the past in one or another region" (Washington Post, 12/25/03).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.