Donors, Recipient Countries Deserve Credit for Gains on HIV/AIDS, Los Angeles Times Editorial Says
Amid the negative reaction that UNAIDS' recent report on the HIV/AIDS pandemic drew from some global health advocates, "it's easy to lose sight of the fact that the news on AIDS is more good than bad," according to a Los Angeles Times editorial. According to the editorial, the reaction to the report "was mostly a lot of sniping" about "rich countries' slow response to the problem," political interference preventing funding from being spent appropriately and "anger that the U.S. government seems more interested in fighting the disease overseas than among African-Americans at home."
According to the editorial, "Progress might seem painfully slow" to those affected by HIV/AIDS, but "it's happening." The Times notes that the UNAIDS' report found worldwide deaths from AIDS declined by 10% in 2007, the number of people taking HIV/AIDS medication increased 10-fold over the last six years and the rate of new infections among children is declining. In addition, Congress recently agreed to triple U.S. funding for HIV/AIDS and other diseases to $48 billion over five years.
The editorial states that "AIDS advocates have a tough time acknowledging good news because they don't want donor nations to get complacent," adding that even with more funding to fight AIDS, the world likely will not reach UNAIDS' goal of universal access to treatment by 2010. The editorial concludes that "[d]onors and recipient countries are still doing plenty of things wrong," but they are "doing plenty right, too, and for that they deserve more credit than they usually get" (Los Angeles Times, 8/2).