Long-Term Security Needed for Vaccine, HIV/AIDS Funding, Editorial Says
"Long-term planning" is "essential" in the fight against HIV/AIDS and to secure vaccine needs in the developing world, and the "easiest way to create a long-term stream of money not subject to an annual political fight is for rich countries to cancel the poorest nations' debts," a New York Times editorial says. Guaranteed long-term funding is "crucial" for vaccines because "it gives manufacturers a guaranteed market and allows countries to plan," as well as for HIV/AIDS care because antiretroviral therapy cannot be interrupted without the threat of death or the development of drug-resistant HIV, according to the Times. However, commitment to HIV/AIDS care in many African countries is "weak and unsteady," and foreign aid is "a favorite foil for politicians" in richer countries because it has "little domestic constituency," the Times says. Representatives of the world's wealthiest nations at a meeting earlier this month "agreed in principle" to cancel some countries' debts, and "[t]hey must finally take this long-overdue step," the Times says. In addition, a plan by British officials to create an International Finance Facility that would frontload international aid to meet the Millennium Development Goals "should proceed," even though "the Bush administration hates" the proposal, the Times concludes (New York Times, 2/25).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.