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    Bush's AIDS relief promises and the reality...

    Why is it whenever he claims "God has called him into action", I cringe??

    The wind-up:
    When President Bush introduced his global AIDS initiative in January 2003 -- calling it "a work of mercy beyond all current international efforts" -- the plan certainly sounded promising.
    The Pitch:

    Bush pledged to spend $15 billion over five years to provide life-saving drugs to at least 2 million people with HIV, prevent 7 million new infections, and care for the sick and orphaned in fifteen countries. Most of the money, the president declared, would go to sub-Saharan Africa, home to the majority of the world's 40 million people living with HIV and AIDS. In the hardest-hit countries, nearly forty percent of the population is infected, and 12 million children across the region have lost at least one parent to the disease. "I believe God has called us into action," Bush declared during a trip to Uganda in 2003. "We are a great nation, we're a wealthy nation. We have a responsibility to help a neighbor in need, a brother and sister in crisis."
    Does he score??? Let's see.........

    Dubbed the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the ambitious agenda provided the administration with some much-needed PR at the very moment it was preparing to defy international will by invading Iraq. But from the start, Bush has failed to deliver on the funding he promised -- and what little money he has provided is being used to promote a right-wing agenda that undercuts international efforts and puts millions of people in AIDS-ravaged countries at greater risk of infection and death.

    Thanks to the president's foot-dragging, his "emergency plan" took its sweet time getting going. Bush requested only $2 billion for PEPFAR in its first year -- a billion less than one would expect. Then, when Congress decided to approve $400 million more than the president asked for, Bush unsuccessfully fought to block the increase. By the time the first relief funds arrived in Africa, nearly a year and a half had passed since the president announced his plan -- a costly delay in fighting an epidemic that claims 8,500 lives every day.

    The administration insists it will meet its goal by 2008, saying it planned all along to gradually "ramp up" the program. But public-health experts say it looks increasingly unlikely that Bush will fulfill his promise -- and that even if he does, the money will fall far short of what is needed. According to UNAIDS, a partnership involving the World Bank and nine other international aid groups, the world needs to spend $20 billion a year by 2007 to wage an effective war against AIDS. What Bush proposes to spend annually, if funding remains constant, is less than half the $6.6 billion that America would be expected to contribute based on the size of its economy. "The fact that the United States can spend $300 billion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but cannot find a relative pittance to rescue the human condition in Africa -- there is something profoundly out of whack about that," says Stephen Lewis, the secretary-general's special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa.

    In addition to shortchanging international relief efforts, Bush is using AIDS funds to place religion over science, promoting abstinence and monogamy over more effective measures such as condoms and sex education. Before overseas groups can receive U.S. funding, for example, the Bush administration requires them to take a "loyalty oath" to condemn prostitution -- a provision that AIDS workers say further stigmatizes a population in need of HIV education and treatment. Brazil recently became the first country to rebel against the oath, announcing in May that it was rejecting $40 million in AIDS grants from the administration. "What we're doing is imposing a really misguided and ill-informed ideology on top of a public-health crisis," says Jodi Jacobson, executive director of the Center for
    Health and Gender Equity in Takoma Park, Maryland.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    source: HERE
    "Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names." - John F. Kennedy

    "Someday we gonna rise up on that wind you know
    Someday we gonna dance with those lions
    Someday we gonna break free from these chains and keep on flyin'" - flipsyde

    #2
    Re: Bush's AIDS relief promises and the reality...

    Minah,

    Having spend a great deal of time in the Heath Care Field, I can assure thou there are better resources than "Rolling Stone" to do an analysis of the AIDS crisis in Africa. As with any highly complex business plan, product roll out or software program, certain things must fall into place to be successful. The current bottlenecks are as follows:

    1) There is a critical shortage of Healthcare Providers in Africa. Two things appear to be happening. First, Heath Care workers themselves are dying at a much faster pace than anticipated, and second, qualified Health Care workers are fleeing the countries most effected. This is particularly critical in Physicians, Nurse and Labortory Technicians.

    2) Almost all AIDS care is "Test" driven. A number of hypercritical lab test must be performed, the tests must be performed frequently and reliably. The test results are the backbone of the treatment methodology. Participating countries have been very slow in setting up the infrastructure needed, and no amount of money can be thrown at the problem to cure people without the infrastructure in place.

    3) Ongoing infection rates are much higher than anticipated, causing food shortages, overloaded healthcare resources and a much greater infection rate than anticipated. Prevention education is now available, but people are simply choosing not to listen. Additionally infection rates are so high that the virus has shown signs of rapidly mutating. The need for absinance and prevention/education is very real. The only reason the disease was caught and controlled in the West is that prevention efforts were effective. This has not been the case in Africa.

    4) Last year the total expenditures for AIDS in Africa was $6Bil. The projection is that that expenditure could increase 50% per year with current funding commitments. The log jam is not money at this point, it is the healthcare infrastructure that needs to be ramped up to make the drugs and treatments effective.

    5) Healthcare in Africa is so poor, that diseases like Malaria and Tuberculosis are still threats. These diseases were erradicated 50 years ago in virtually all of the rest of the world. This is indicative of the absolutely barren healthcare system througout most of Africa.

    Please take the time to read the WHO, UNAIDS, or CDC reporting on the challenges facing Africa, and take reporting from the Rolling Stone with a grain of salt.
    Boycott Venezuelas State owned Citgo.

    Buy Royal Dutch Shell gasoline!

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Bush's AIDS relief promises and the reality...

      But I like it sooooo much darn it
      "Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names." - John F. Kennedy

      "Someday we gonna rise up on that wind you know
      Someday we gonna dance with those lions
      Someday we gonna break free from these chains and keep on flyin'" - flipsyde

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Bush's AIDS relief promises and the reality...

        Originally posted by Ohioguy
        Minah,
        As with any highly complex business plan, product roll out or software program, certain things must fall into place to be successful. The current bottlenecks are as follows:
        Unless it's a war, then you can go in like an asshole unprepared and spend $200+ billion in 2+ years no problem.



        I don't buy the excuses OG puts forth, the U.S. can spend more money and allot more resources to open up the bottle neck but it doesn't and that's pathetic.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Bush's AIDS relief promises and the reality...

          Didnt the US withdraw alot of money previously put into sex clinics for women, providing both condoms and abortion services simply becasue it was anti eve angelistic thinking?

          I think I remember reading that these efforts were going in the stead to promote abstinance in Africa
          rubber band rubber band rubber band rubber band rubber band

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Bush's AIDS relief promises and the reality...

            UTD,

            The dirty little secret among epidemiologists is that we may have reached a point of no return. The core issue is that unless people quit having unprotected sex frequently with multiple partners, that AIDS may well be uncontrollable. Many epidemeologists already think we are at this point, but this is such a hot potato politically that no one wants to acknowledge it. Take South Africa:

            http://www.africancrisis.org/Photo.asp?Subject=HIV

            [thumb=H]sademhiv47554_5997407.JPG[/thumb]


            She above graph shows the steady infection of up to 22 million in a population of 44 million. Most epidemiologist believe that society will collapse before your get to a 50% infection rate. If the infection rate cannot be slowed down, the exponential rise will be unstoppable. barring a miracle, a cure or a vaccine, nothing is working EXCEPT in countries that have successfully implemented strong preventive programs. This is not politics, it is cold blooded science.
            Boycott Venezuelas State owned Citgo.

            Buy Royal Dutch Shell gasoline!

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Bush's AIDS relief promises and the reality...

              There is already substantial evidence that agriculture is reaching a point of collapse due to AIDS. As agricultural workers become infected, health status drops in the entire population, and the infection rates and death rates become greater. To save the population, you must support the entire economy.




              The AIDS epidemic tends to follow an exponential curve. "After a certain threshold of prevalence, about five percent, exponential growth makes it difficult and very expensive to deal with its consequences," says Ms Villarreal. "It is therefore crucial to develop interventions before a full-fledged epidemic develops in a country."

              Under current FAO projections, the hardest hit countries could lose up to 26 percent of their agricultural labour force within two decades. Lessons need to be learned from the countries in which the epidemic is advanced so others can act quickly to prevent the same devastation.

              Prevention is complex and goes beyond the use of condoms, she says. "I am talking about education, agricultural policy that takes into account the possible impact on the spread of the epidemic, addressing the economic roots of cultural customs such as wife-sharing, and addressing unequal gender relations linked with the dissemination of the virus."

              And success is not a one-time achievement. "Recent studies show that when a country thinks that it has the epidemic under control -- as was the case in Thailand and Uganda -- they start slacking and giving fewer resources to information and prevention programmes," Ms Villarreal says. "Then the epidemic rises quickly again. AIDS is not something you 'get over'. It is a problem that needs a long-term, integrated strategy addressing all sectors of society, with a strong political commitment."
              http://www.fao.org/Focus/E/aids/aids5-e.htm
              Boycott Venezuelas State owned Citgo.

              Buy Royal Dutch Shell gasoline!

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Bush's AIDS relief promises and the reality...

                Hiccup, Bush did cutoff funds to family planning groups which provided education to people (including those in Africa) on AIDS prevention.

                So thank Bush for speeding up the process to get to the 'Point of No Return", it was one of his first acts as President.

                http://www.globalgagrule.org/pdfs/is...R_fact_HIV.pdf

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Bush's AIDS relief promises and the reality...

                  UTD, hiccup - he didn't cut funds he redirected them to organizations that preach abstinence as opposed to safe sex with condoms. Bushie baby likes to push the religious envelope in his policies, another reason I can't wait for this oaf to get out of office.
                  "Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names." - John F. Kennedy

                  "Someday we gonna rise up on that wind you know
                  Someday we gonna dance with those lions
                  Someday we gonna break free from these chains and keep on flyin'" - flipsyde

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Bush's AIDS relief promises and the reality...

                    Politicizing a virus is such a futile effort. UTD if you want to throw darts, the simple fact is that AIDS would have been much more controllable druing any one of the 8 Clinton years. The mathematics of infection are simple. If Clinton had proposed the same $15 Billion AIDS package 10 years ago, it would have had an exponentially greater chance of averting catastrophe. To slice one small example of politically charged family planning is ignoring the fact that there are 20 times more infected people today than in 1992.

                    But of course, blaming Clinton for anything gets us nowhere. But those are indeed the facts. In epidemiology, speed is everything. Clintons' delay was a far more monsterous calamity, and it allowed the wildfire to spread to where it may well be a fait accompli....
                    Boycott Venezuelas State owned Citgo.

                    Buy Royal Dutch Shell gasoline!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Bush's AIDS relief promises and the reality...

                      OG, it was politicized when Bush decided to place restrictions on how the money is spent to appease the Christian right, yet you drag Clinton into it, come on.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Bush's AIDS relief promises and the reality...

                        UTD, those are the facts. By the time Bush got in office the problem was orders of magnitude worse than at any time Clinton was in office. Those are the facts.

                        The virus travels on a vector. If you ask any scientist how to stop AIDS, their method of choice would be stop having sex. Having truely monogamous sex is a close second. Having protected sex is only partially successful. In this case the religious right is actually in sync with good science.

                        The real problem is that minor issues such as battles over drugs, and family planning absorb so much oxygen that the real problem is missed. That problem is that infection rates are rocketing at exponential speed, outstripping any ability to treat or cure. The only way to win this fight is to stop infection rates in their tracks. That is the lesson of AIDS in the West, and of SARS. Once the cat is out of the bag you have millions of cats. It is now bordering on the impossible.
                        Boycott Venezuelas State owned Citgo.

                        Buy Royal Dutch Shell gasoline!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Bush's AIDS relief promises and the reality...

                          OG, that's some justification of Bush's decision to move funds to programs that are shown to be ineffective and keep funding low.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Bush's AIDS relief promises and the reality...

                            You are fiddling while Rome burns, squashing ants when the elephant is about to squash you. Distracting petty arguements are going to kill millions. Bickering kills people.

                            That $15 billion is a good start. If one or two percent of the total become the focal point we lose. We should instead be focused on the effectiveness of the huge bulk of the available funds. The friction created with petty arguements kills people. Bureaucratic delays kill people. Speed is everything in epidemiology. Democracy often works at odds with an effective solution when time is a killer. Bushs' solution speedily done will trump any other solution, no matter how noble, done slowly. Period.
                            Boycott Venezuelas State owned Citgo.

                            Buy Royal Dutch Shell gasoline!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Bush's AIDS relief promises and the reality...

                              OG, Bush is the one who is delaying the funds, did you even read the article?

                              Stop defending this sh1t.

                              ......
                              Thanks to the president's foot-dragging, his "emergency plan" took its sweet time getting going. Bush requested only $2 billion for PEPFAR in its first year -- a billion less than one would expect. Then, when Congress decided to approve $400 million more than the president asked for, Bush unsuccessfully fought to block the increase. By the time the first relief funds arrived in Africa, nearly a year and a half had passed since the president announced his plan -- a costly delay in fighting an epidemic that claims 8,500 lives every day.

                              Comment

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