Western Nations Have Not Adequately Addressed Africa’s HIV/AIDS Epidemic Because of ‘Subterranean Racism,’ U.N. Special Envoy Lewis Says
Western nations have not taken sufficient action to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa because of "some kind of subterranean racism," U.N. Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis said in Ottawa on Wednesday, the Ottawa Citizen reports. Speaking at Carleton University, Lewis said that the response of Western nations to the HIV/AIDS pandemic is comparable to their response to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Generic versions of antiretroviral drugs are available for $130 per person annually, and the world could "break the back of the pandemic" and "save millions of lives" if Western nations would "take [HIV/AIDS] seriously," Lewis said. He added that the Group of Eight industrialized nations have not lived up to pledges they made at their summit last year in Gleneagles, Scotland. According to Lewis, increased efforts need to be made to address HIV/AIDS among women because "[g]ender is at the heart of the pandemic." Lewis also praised the work on nongovernmental organizations such as Save the Children and World Vision (Kubacki, Ottawa Citizen, 9/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.