Archive for the ‘Money and AIDS’ Category

A billion dollars: not enough for gay men in Uganda (03/06/08)

The head of Uganda’s AIDS commission says his country can’t afford to do any HIV prevention work with gay men, according to the Pink News. Though they’ve got hundreds of millions in the AIDS funding trough, and have their snouts raised for more. “Gays are one of the drivers of HIV in Uganda, but because […]

Treatment is prevention. And black is white (20/05/08)

Two of the Republican senators accused of holding to ransom some US$ 50 billion in US funding for HIV in Africa are fighting back. They are also ill-educated, badly confused, or lying through their teeth. After a Washington Post editorial accused them of foot-dragging on AIDS funding in part because they worried that money might […]

For US$ 100, learn about sex (but not about condoms?) (18/05/08)

A reader recently sent me a link to Time4Facts, a site that allows parents to download videos about sex and puberty. The idea is that parents can pick and choose from a menu of video clips, and then put together a “curriculum” that will allow their kids to learn about everything from wet dreams to […]

The World Bank bribes Tanzanians to stay HIV negative (26/04/08)

The World Bank and others plan to bribe young Tanzanians to stay HIV negative, according to Andrew Jack, writing in The Financial Times. We know blackmail can work pretty well in HIV prevention. When brothel-owners in Thailand were told their businesses would be shut down if they didn’t ensure clients used condoms, condom use shot […]

Maybe RICH countries need to spend more on nurses (07/04/08)

Rich countries must stop sucking nurses and doctors away from the poor countries that need them most, declared a recent editorial in The Lancet. Everyone agrees that it’s not a great thing to drain nursing and medical skills from countries where a quarter of adults are infected with a fatal virus that manifests itself though […]

The New York Times’ HIV vaccine fantasy (30/03/08)

Working with HIV can get dispiriting at times. We have some 70 million prevention failures to our credit so far; those will always attract more attention than the unquantifiable millions of infections which we have managed to prevent, by providing a safe blood supply, clean needles for injectors, decent STI treatment and condoms for people […]

Cheap travel for mountaineers and HIV-positives in India (27/03/08)

India’s sprawling railway network will from next week allow HIV-infected people to travel half-price, the Economic Times reports. Since it’s India, there’s red tape to go with the red ribbons — the discount is only for second class travel to and from approved HIV treatment centres and people “have to produce (a) certificate in prescribed […]

At last, there’s a cure for AIDS! (14/03/08)

Bill Gates: saviour or bully? Chapter 2 (04/03/08)

A couple of weeks back, I wondered whether the WHO’s railing against the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was just sour grapes. Last week, The Economist concluded that the wine has indeed turned to vinegar. One of WHO malaria overlord Arata Kochi’s complaints was that the Gates Foundation is becoming a monopoly, squeezing out discussion […]

PEPFAR compromise: more money for “innocents” (28/02/08)

After huddling late into the night, US politicians have come up with a compromise. They’ll spend more money on innnocent victims of AIDS, but none to protect those wicked people who sell sex for a living. The US congress house of representatives House Committee on Foreign Affairs agreed to spend an astonishing US$ 50 billion […]

Russian business threatened by epidemic of hype (13/02/08)

In an editorial in the Moscow Times, Daniel Kashnitsky argues that Russian businesses could see their edge in the international marketplace undermined by HIV. He cites a bunch of scary stats, intended to jolt business leaders out of their complacency. Russia has the highest number of HIV cases in Europe. (Well yes, but it also […]

Favou(red): women and kids (06/02/08)

Cynical about Bono and his “shop-your-way-to-heaven” approach to AIDS? A report in The New York Times reminds us that for the people whose lives are being prolonged with money bought off the back off a red i-Pod, drugs count for more than sneering. Reporter Ron Dixon talks to the sneerers, too, including the folks at […]

Treating our failures (30/01/08)

As Think Progress and CREDO pointed out, George Bush shouldn’t have been quite so smug in his State of the Union address. They list some of the ways that US money is undermining progress against HIV. But I’m afraid they’ve missed some other gems that the administration has thrown up in the way of effective […]

God give us strength (or money) (18/01/08)

This week, over 15,000 people converged on the Thai capital Bangkok to chit chat about religion’s role in helping people with HIV, Thailand’s Nation newspaper reports. The paper quotes Asian Interfaith Network on HIV/AIDS chairperson Pramaha Boonchuay Doojai as saying that “People with HIV can spend their life in communities peacefully if religious organisation help […]

Drug pushers unlimited (10/01/08)

Almost everyone agrees that we need to invest more in developing drugs that treat and cure the illnesses that beset poor people. Many of us disagree, though, with pharmaceutical companies when they whinge about “patent protection”. This translates as keeping prices high while Big Pharma recoups its investment in research and rewards its shareholders. The […]

Less might be more in funding HIV programmes (08/01/08)

In an eminently sensible editorial, Daniel Halperin recently argued that the vast resources available for AIDS in the developing world, and especially in Africa, are threatening to crush other important priorities such as basic sanitation. This has prompted a prickly response from the Global AIDS Alliance. Somewhat predictably, the Global AIDS Alliance argues that we […]

Needling the White House (21/12/07)

So Congress has finally passed the US$ 556 billion budget bill (Reuters). It now goes to George Bush to be signed. As John McManus and others note, the bill is laden with pork. McManus is rightly infuriated by how keen most Congressmen are to bring home the pork, in other words, to bundle spending on […]

In (partial) defence of UNAIDS (18/12/07)

Writing in The Guardian, Siddharth Dube takes aim at UNAIDS and other UN organisations for failing the people most at risk for HIV. (Bringing UNAids to Book) Speaking of UNAIDS and other organisations such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria, Dube says: “we have created these organizations, given them clear mandates, […]

The numbers game (14/12/07)

It is easy to rail at the Bush administration for the chains in which they tie up their AIDS funding for developing countries — the just-cross-your-legs prevention policies, the our-drugs-or-no-drugs treatment protocols, the abolitionist approach to the sex industry. But you have to give them credit for upping the ante on funding, and for taking […]

Bouncing up the cost of rubbers? Bayer pays the price (07/12/07)

Some economists, comparing the cost of manufacturing and distributing condoms with the cost of treating HIV, believe that condoms should be bought by governments and distributed free to anyone who needs them. So how come they are so expensive in many countries? In Britain, bog standard condoms cost over one Euro each, more if you […]

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