Caribbean Summit on HIV/AIDS ‘Long Overdue,’ Opinion Piece Says
At last week's Caribbean Summit on HIV/AIDS in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, a "few regional leaders ... have finally taken their heads out of our soft sand," which hopefully will "expos[e] the salutary neglect" of those heads of state who have not applied for funds from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief for "political reasons" or "fatal ignorance," Anthony Hall, an international lawyer and political consultant, writes in a Caribbean Net News opinion piece. According to Hall, the "collective failure of leadership" of Caribbean leaders has allowed HIV/AIDS to reach "the highest prevalence of HIV in any region of the world outside of sub-Saharan Africa." Will it take Oprah Winfrey and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) "coming to our islands and being tested publicly for HIV (as they did separately in Africa recently) before some of our leaders feel sufficiently moved to launch comprehensive treatment and prevention programs?" Hall asks. Caribbean leaders "face a daunting but absolutely critical task of disabusing our people of prevailing social taboos and religious dogma that affect their disregard" because "only then will they be receptive" to HIV/AIDS education and prevention, Hall writes (Hall, Caribbean Net News, 1/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.