HIV/AIDS in Malawi, Other Countries To ‘Become More and More an Election Issue,’ Letter to Editor Says
The authors of a London Guardian article "can be cynical about the motives of the Malawian government in recognizing that HIV/AIDS is an important election issue, but for those of us working alongside [HIV-positive people], this is welcome news," International HIV/AIDS Alliance Executive Director Dr. Alvaro Bermejo writes in a Guardian letter to the editor (Bermejo, Guardian, 5/24). Malawi on Thursday held its general election after a campaign in which political parties competed for the votes of HIV-positive people, "confirm[ing] the emergence" of the group as a "new political force in Africa," the Guardian reported last week. Although stigma once led politicians to ignore HIV-positive people, many candidates during the campaign publicly admitted to having lost relatives to AIDS-related causes, according to the Guardian (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/21). Such political leadership can "make the biggest difference in the fight against AIDS," Bermejo says, adding that the disease "will only become more and more an election issue because of the sad truth -- this epidemic is growing at a staggering rate." British voters who care about the epidemic also are "growing in numbers," Bermejo says, concluding that the British government can show leadership by "increasing ... overseas aid contributions to a level that will achieve real impact in the global fight against AIDS" (Guardian, 5/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.