Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report Summarizes Editorials, Opinion Pieces on HIV/AIDS
Several newspapers recently have published editorials and opinion pieces on HIV/AIDS, some of which are summarized below.
Indianapolis Star: The "progress" that has been made in fighting HIV/AIDS "offers hope" to the millions of HIV-positive people worldwide, but Congress should act with a "sense of urgency" and pass the Assistance for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children in Developing Countries Act of 2004 that would provide assistance to children who have lost parents to HIV/AIDS and HIV-positive children, a Star editorial says (Indianapolis Star, 11/29).
Roanoke Times: The Abstinence, Be faithful and Use Condoms approach to preventing HIV/AIDS is a "tragically ignorant and arrogant way" to fight the disease in some countries because many women and girls have "no choice about having sex and even less about keeping within the bounds of 'safe sex' or dealing with unwanted consequences," a Roanoke Times editorial says. U.S. lawmakers "looking to keep on the moral path should act in ways that empower women," the editorial says, adding, "No slogan will transform developing nations, no matter how sensible it sounds to American ears" (Roanoke Times, 11/26).
San Diego Union-Tribune: At the end of 2004, the world needs to recognize that "AIDS is a worldwide pandemic which is growing, not receding, which is affecting a broader range of men, women and children, which is devastating the social and economic viability of some nations," a Union-Tribune editorial says, asking, "Are we doing all that is necessary and all that we can to fight it?" The editorial continues, "Of course not. This World AIDS Day is a good time for Americans to think about what else we can do" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/29).
San Francisco Chronicle: Although the "numbers and the trends" on the HIV/AIDS epidemic "aren't new," there is "no dodging the issue," and "access to drugs, doctors and hospital care -- as well as a change in social attitudes -- will be needed to stop or reverse this deadly course," a Chronicle editorial says (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/28).
- USA Today: HIV/AIDS has "dropped off the domestic political radar screen" despite the fact that 39.4 million people are HIV-positive worldwide, and although "[c]ompassion is the new driver" against the disease, the "question is whether that will be enough," a USA Today editorial says (USA Today, 11/26).
- Elaine Chao, Bergen Record: Programs to fight HIV/AIDS that focus on workplace education and prevention have proven to be an "effective way to reach out to HIV victims, the vast majority of whom are employed," Secretary of Labor Chao writes in a Record opinion piece. "Without effective action, many poor countries will face not only a humanitarian crisis but an economic one, as HIV deprives them of the work force necessary to grow their way out of poverty," Chao writes, adding, "The need to address HIV/AIDS in the workplace is urgent" (Chao, Bergen Record, 11/28).
- Roger Cohen, New York Times: The legacy of apartheid in South Africa and the country's HIV/AIDS epidemic have formed an "explosive brew," and South African President Thabo Mbeki's government has been "torn between its promise last year to provide antiretroviral drugs to all AIDS patients and a lingering anger over the past," which has often resulted in what "appears to be ambivalence, resulting in a slow rollout of drugs," Cohen, who is a columnist for the International Herald Tribune, writes in a Times opinion piece. However, he says that "progress is being made" against HIV/AIDS in South Africa, with more funding bringing more treatment to more people (Cohen, New York Times, 11/28).
- Geoffrey Cowley/Andrew Murr, Newsweek: The "feminization of AIDS is not just an inner-city phenomenon" and the "changing U.S. epidemic poses new challenges, and it may demand new approaches to care, treatment and prevention," Newsweek correspondents Cowley and Murr write in a Newsweek piece. The "pioneers in AIDS prevention are now striving to address the root causes of women's vulnerability -- and finding that empowerment can do what information and indoctrination can't," they write (Cowley/Murr, Newsweek, 12/6).
- Dale Hanson Bourke, St. Petersburg Times: For people in the developing world, "education is the first step in preventing the transmission of HIV," and for "those of us in the developed world, education is necessary to combat the ignorance that can allow AIDS to spread unabated and overwhelm all the other potential problems our children and grandchildren may face," author and journalist Hanson Bourke writes in a St. Petersburg Times opinion piece (Hanson Bourke, St. Petersburg Times, 11/27).
- Ruth Levine, Newark Star-Ledger: In battling HIV/AIDS, "we need to study how major successes have been achieved in public health programs and how to apply those lessons today," Levine, a senior fellow and director of programs at the Center for Global Development, writes in a Star-Ledger opinion piece. Although "[r]eaching success in current health battles will not be easy ... it can be achieved," Levine says, concluding that the "face of victory" in the public health war "is productive workers, safe mothers and thriving children" (Levine, Newark Star-Ledger, 11/28).
- Sebastian Mallaby, Washington Post: In Africa, the "epicenter" of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the shortage of health care workers has become the "prime issue" in the fight against the disesase, columnist Mallaby writes in a Post opinion piece. Developed countries "should compensate poor ones for the cost of training medics who emigrate," Mallaby says, adding, "[T]hat money, supplemented by other aid flows, should be used to boost medical salaries in the poor world." The United States then should "end its nutty overpayment for health care, which not only wastes billions but also sends price signals that depopulate hospitals in the poor world," Mallaby says (Mallaby, Washington Post, 11/29).
- Michal McDowell, Indianapolis Star: "I had read about these places infested with disease, but I always put aside those thoughts like some distant nightmare," McDowell, a sophomore at International High School of Indiana, writes in a Star piece, adding that she discovered such places "are real" after traveling to Soweto, South Africa, along with a group from the Kaiser Family Foundation that was visiting the area. McDowell, the daughter of Jennifer Drobac, a Kaiser Family Foundation board member, says that one HIV/AIDS prevention program in South Africa, loveLife, "gives young people hope" through "sexual education, physical activity and fun" (McDowell, Indianapolis Star, 11/28).
- Trevor Neilson, Washington Times: The United States and other developed nations need to "decide that stopping AIDS is truly what they intend to do," Nielson, executive director of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, writes in a Times opinion piece. "If the world's leaders decided to truly stop AIDS, there is little disagreement about what would consitute an effective response," Nielson says, adding that HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment access and debt relief would be top three priorities (Neilson, Washington Times, 11/29).
- Allan Rosenfield, Newsweek.com: Although the United States "may have been slow to realize it," the HIV/AIDS epidemic "was never a uniquely male affliction," and although "[w]e have reached only a tiny fraction of the population in need ... our experience leaves little doubt that the world changes when women are given a foothold," Rosenfield, dean of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, writes in a Newsweek.com opinion piece. "Women, having borne the brunt of this great pandemic, are our best hope for a future without AIDS," Rosenfield concludes (Rosenfield, Newsweek.com, 11/29).
- Anthony Sampson, London's Independent: An effective campaign against HIV/AIDS in Africa will "always require not just health care and cheaper medicines but also a real understanding of the problems of African society, and particularly of the women who bear the brunt of the suffering," author and journalist Sampson writes in an Independent opinion piece (Sampson, Independent, 11/27).
- Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), Philadelphia Inquirer: Fighting HIV/AIDS "is one of the greatest challenges of our time, and World AIDS Day reminds us all that America has the responsibility to extend aid and funding to the men, women and children" affected by the disease, Santorum writes in an Inquirer opinion piece. He concludes, "We cannot afford to stand silent, or worse, inactive on this issue" (Santorum, Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/28).