U.S., Africa HIV/AIDS Epidemics Deserve Equal Attention, Funding, Opinion Piece Says
Over the last few years, the U.S. increasingly has "turned its attention" to the HIV/AIDS "crisis" in Africa even though in "large parts of this country, America is Africa," Patrick Moore, author of "Tweaked: A Crystal Meth Memoir," writes in a Long Island Newsday opinion piece. "With skyrocketing infection rates, poverty, lack of health insurance and a paucity of doctors, people with AIDS in the American rural South face prospects almost as grim as people living with AIDS in Africa," Moore writes. According to Moore, the "deeper story" of how HIV/AIDS in parts of the U.S. compares to the situation in developing countries "involves not just racism but our national character as a whole." The U.S. tends to "bounce along from one crisis to another, without addressing underlying, persistent problems," such as injection drug use, poverty and the "failure of the American health care system," Moore writes. According to Moore, the "solution" to fighting domestic HIV/AIDS is "not to reapportion a shrinking pool of existing funds but to increase the funding to appropriate levels for the entire country." Moore writes, "None of this is to argue that we should decrease funding to AIDS programs in Africa," concluding, "In fact, we can have greater compassion for Africa if we understand that this disease remains a crisis at home as well. When that awareness is achieved, we can be proud to say America is Africa" (Moore, Long Island Newsday, 9/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.