It’s not HIV that kills, but hospital administration

To mark the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day, and the 1st anniversary of The Wisdom of Whores, I offer a post stolen wholesale from Michael Buehler. ‘It is actually not HIV that kills us but the hospital administration’, says an Indonesian woman with HIV. Oh, and corruption in the Ministry of Health, complacent self-satisfaction in the NGOs, and a disturbing sense of entitlement among medics.

Michael tells the story more patiently than I’d be able to. As several people pointed out, including Dharmawan, Willem and Catherine. Read. Really, please read. What Michael doesn’t say is that Indonesia has pocketed more than US$ 400 million in foreign taxpayers’ money to deal with HIV so far, and has another US$ 130 million from the Global Fund on the table. And it can’t even assure treatment in the big, well-funded, teaching hospitals designated to provide ARVs. No need to point out that treatment is the EASY bit, the big, politically popular success story. People need it because we fail so badly on the cheaper, easier prevention services, like making sure that kids who inject heroin in Indonesia don’t also inject HIV. If it doesn’t make you angry that we’re using your money so badly (if you’re a European or North American tax payer) or serving your needs so poorly (kalau seandenya anda orang Indonesia, apalagi orang Indonesia yang terinfeksi HIV…), this blog’s no place for you.

This post was published on 01/12/08 in Money and AIDS, Science.

Send this post to a friend Send this post to a friend


You can follow the comments on this post via this RSS feed.

Tags: , , , .

  1. Comment by secondlastwish, 02/12/08, 02:35:

    Great article. Horrible topic. It’s like an extra special kick in the gut while our crap economy in the US dominates the news and they finally declared a recession today.

  2. Comment by Graham, 02/12/08, 06:33:

    Thought you might be interested in the World AIDS Day talk we had at the Frontline Club last night,


  3. Comment by Pro Jection, 07/12/08, 02:30:

    How does “I met with the chief executive of [an NGO] two weeks ago in Jakarta…and he never mentioned anything to me related to chronic supply problems of ARVs…’” translate into “complacent self-satisfaction in the NGOs”? Sounds like you are projecting, Elizabeth.

  4. Comment by elizabeth, 08/12/08, 03:48:

    Projection@pisani.corp? Really, that’s too good. To clarify: the final sentence of the first paragraph is attributable to me, not Michael. So not projecting, Pro so much as Com Menting.

  5. Trackback by zundel, 09/12/08, 08:51:

    not HIV that kills us but the hospital administration…

    Read this!
    “No positive news” by Michael Buehler in Inside Indonesia 2008-12
    However, in response to our queries and requests for action, representatives of most organisations responded by pointing to the ‘sensitivity’ of the issue…

  6. Comment by Harington, 12/12/08, 04:28:

    Pro Jection,

    I live in Jakarta and I am SUFFERING from the ARV supply problems and I don’t give a rats ass about your “projecting” issue. Get lost!

Comments are closed at this time.