‘AIDS Bureaucracy’ Has ‘Vested Interest in Maintaining Disease,’ Little Interest in Curing It, Opinion Piece Says
Politics has "squeezed out science" in the fight against AIDS and has created a "permanent, self-perpetuating AIDS bureaucracy that has a vested interest in maintaining the disease but little interest in curing it," James Pinkerton, a fellow at the New America Foundation, writes in a Los Angeles Times opinion piece. For every new HIV case, somebody "gets money," and now that "funding streams correlate with victim streams, the vision of a cure as a goal yields instead to perpetuation as a goal," Pinkerton says. If such "perma-funding" continues and becomes a "lucrative career path for the press-savvy and the politics-connected," then a "legitimating superstructure of ideology will emerge," Pinkerton says. After 20 million deaths during the epidemic's 25 year history, "there should be some news -- of a vaccine, of a cure -- but there's nothing on the horizon," Pinkerton says, adding that it now "seems that people power" is thought to be "more important than laboratory power." However, "[a]mid all this well-funded sound and fury, the AIDS virus survives," continually "striking, infecting ... [and] mutating into newer and more lethal forms," Pinkerton concludes (Pinkerton, Los Angeles Times, 8/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.