Thursday, June 01, 2006

June 5 marks the 25th anniversary...

Yesterday 19 years ago (31 May 1987) President Reagan first mentions AIDS. This is six and a half years into his presidency! By that stage there had been 4,217 new AIDS cases in NYC & 6,458 AIDS Deaths.

I read this in a very interesting article by the New York Metro.

AIDS in New York: A Biography
June 5 marks the 25th anniversary of the first medical report on what later became known as AIDS. A quarter-century of epidemiological, political, and cultural transformation....

http://www.newyorkmetro.com/news/features/17158/

Since 1980 the world has known about the disease. Since 1983 safe sex has been advocated.
One always wonders if things could have been different had there been a faster reaction back then and if AIDS hadn't first appeared in homosexual men in the '80s during a Republican presidency.
Or if things would be different now if it was not now mainly infecting poor Africans but other socio-economic-demographic groups.

And what has our hegemonic western leader, the USA, learnt by 2006?...that money can be thrown at this extremely complex long-term problem with the simplistic solutions of Abstinence & Be Faithful training in Third World coutries.

This money of $15 billion over 5 years, is better known as PEPFAR funding (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). www.avert.org/pepfar.htm.

I do not believe in looking a gift horse in the mouth, but AIDS is not a situation that requires simple solutions. The virus has proven too smart for that, and with so much in-depth research having gone into this subject, how can the US government simply ignore researchers' advice and settle on moralistic answers?

I have read documents that state if I should mention the word "condoms" in my proposal, I will not receive funds. This does not hold true for all the PEPFAR money released, but I have experienced fear of the C word by too many HIV/AIDS Programme Developers who are trying to obtain US government money. Such simplistic short-term solutions promise more problems than resolutions.

I am not sure how to conclude this rant, as I have so much more to say, and I am sure I will say it over the next while.

4 comments:

Jam said...

Nice to know this date, and it is astounding to think how many people have become infected and have died in the interim.

Champagne Heathen said...

Hey Jam, I actually was about to post a comment on your blog...

It's also astounding to think the lack of political commitment from countries of all types despite the facts and figures!

I read yesterday: India has the largest number of people living with the virus. With 5,7-million infections, it has overtaken South Africa's total of 5,5-million. But the epidemic is still at its worst in sub-Saharan Africa, where 90% of the world's HIV-infected children live.

Mail & Guardian article from Wednesday online. (www.mg.co.za)

I'm just full of these HIV facts & dates & horror stories.

Anonymous said...

Nice colors. Keep up the good work. thnx!
»

Anonymous said...

Nice idea with this site its better than most of the rubbish I come across.
»