Miller-McCune Magazine takes on HIV

Miller-McCune magazine just published a nice article about the changing global role of HIV funding. There is nothing new or radical in the article, but they’ve pulled together a lot of information in a useful, readable way. It’s well worth reading if you’re unfamiliar with the saga of AIDS funding or want a refresher that’s full of vivid imagery.

The article summary would be this: global AIDS funding has gone way up, and shown results, but it’s possible it could have been used in more effective ways, since HIV is not the greatest threat many countries face. We are now seeing push back against that disproportionate role played by AIDS funding, but AIDS advocates argue that changing the funding distribution risks losing all we’ve gained through supporting the fight against HIV.

Some key quotes from the article:

Stephen Lewis, a former Canadian diplomat who served as the U.N. Secretary General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa from June 2001 until the end of 2006 argues that ““It is a false and destructive dichotomy to pit one set of diseases against another…Everybody talks about the AIDS exceptionalism. Nobody talks about the moral obligation of the Western world to provide the money to do both.”

From a WHO report “If children’s lives are worth saving — and who would doubt that they are; if vaccines save lives — and the evidence is clear that they do; and if the world has the means of making, buying, and using vaccines, as it surely does: then why are children still dying from diseases that vaccines can prevent? The answer to this conundrum lies perhaps in the difficulty of choosing between conflicting priorities.”

And lastly, “Jude Kimbowa, a pediatrician at the Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital who works with Kabakyenga, notes that malnutrition is almost always a complicating factor in diseases he treats — whether it is HIV, malaria, TB or any of a dozen or more major killers. But funding for research into how to tackle anything but HIV/AIDS is almost nonexistent, he laments.”