Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report Summarizes Editorials, Opinion Pieces Related to AIDS Conference
Several newspapers have published editorials and opinion pieces in observance of the XVI International AIDS Conference, held through Aug. 18 in Toronto. Summaries appear below.
- James Pinkerton, Long Island Newsday: The "political posturing" and "mindless kneejerk stridency" by some attendees of the AIDS conference is not helpful, though "some constructive voices can still be identified," columnist Pinkerton writes in a Newsday opinion piece. "Guided by a spirit of realistic compassion, people should convene to consider what is and is not working on AIDS, putting aside their bile and bias," he writes, adding, "[S]ome of that is happening here -- more than one might have thought" (Pinkerton, Long Island Newsday, 8/17).
- Craig and Marc Kielburger, Toronto Star: "There needs to be a child-specific AIDS strategy," Craig and Marc Kielburger, founders of Free the Children and co-authors of "Me to We," write in a Star opinion piece. They add that if the world is going to "halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS," there needs to be accessible effective treatment to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, counseling for HIV-positive youths and affordable pediatric medicines (Kielburger/Kielburger, Toronto Star, 8/17).
- Andre Picard, Globe and Mail: By using "[m]odern epidemiology, bolstered with technology," the pandemic of HIV/AIDS can be mapped into a "series of distinct, yet intertwined epidemics" that show where prevention efforts should focus, public health reporter Picard says in an opinion piece in Toronto's Globe and Mail. But "[i]t matters not how much good science there is unless we implement the findings, unless we have the courage and foresight to act," Picard says, concluding, "It's time to start ... stemming the horrific carnage" (Picard, Globe and Mail, 8/17).
- Jim Yong Kim and Paul Farmer, New England Journal of Medicine: "The unglamorous and difficult process of increasing access to prevention and care needs to be our primary focus" in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Yong Kim, chief of the Division of Social Medicine and Health Inequalities at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Farmer, professor of social medicine at Harvard Medical School, write in an NEJM opinion piece. Yong Kim and Farmer examine the "global picture" of HIV/AIDS and the lessons learned in the past two decades of AIDS conferences (Yong Kim/Farmer, NEJM, 8/17).
- Ronald Bayer and Amy Fairchild, NEJM: CDC is expected to issue new recommendations for HIV testing that would suggest that "HIV screening be routinely offered in all health care settings," Bayer and Fairchild -- a professor and associate professor, respectively, at the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health at Columbia University -- write in a NEJM opinion piece. Routine testing "shifts the burden from those who would choose to undergo the test to those who would refuse," Bayer and Fairchild write, adding, "Making it more difficult to say no may be justified by public health considerations," but the new model still needs to be considered by policymakers as part of an "open, ethically informed and evidence-based debate" (Bayer/Fairchild, NEJM, 8/17).
- Margaret Wente, Globe and Mail: "Changing the behavior of African men is probably hopeless," columnist Wente writes in a Globe and Mail opinion piece, adding, "But giving women a basic education and a reliable microbicide might be something we can do" to curb the spread of HIV in Africa (Wente, Globe and Mail, 8/17).
- Globe and Mail: "If ... countries don't give women the means to protect themselves, they and their children will suffer disproportionately" a Globe and Mail editorial says. Some researchers say that soon women will account for the majority of the HIV cases globally, and the epidemic is "spreading fastest among young women" ages 16 to 24, the editorial says. "But given ... tools" such as microbicides, an antiretroviral drug that prevents mother-to-child HIV transmission and education, women "themselves could radically change the course of the disease," the editorial says (Globe and Mail, 8/17).