“We welcome the Obama administration’s announcement of a farsighted effort to treat millions more [people living with HIV] abroad, especially in sub-Saharan Africa,” a New York Times editorial writes. “The administration expects that the expanded treatments can be paid for with existing resources, by pushing for greater efficiencies and more financing from recipient nations. But if that effort stalls, the administration should re-evaluate quickly whether to ask Congress for money,” the editorial states.
US Global Health Policy
After experiencing a decline in the number of new HIV infections in the 1990s, Uganda’s “HIV [incidence] rate is creeping back up again. New infections are increasing, and the sense of urgency has vanished,” the Globe and Mail reports, adding that the country “has become an early warning signal to the rest of the world: If the fight against AIDS fades into complacency and neglect, the disease can roar back again.” The article discusses how complacency among the general population, as well as government policies of Uganda and the U.S., “have contributed to the rise in HIV infections here, analysts say” (York, 12/9).
In this post in the U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote” blog, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby and Melanne Verveer, ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues, report on the relationship between gender-based violence (GBV) and HIV, writing, “The United States recognizes the importance of preventing and responding to GBV within…
“Malawi is to review laws banning homosexuality in response to public opinion, according to reports,” the Guardian writes. “The move comes just days after the U.S. announced it would” promote and protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people through foreign aid and diplomacy, the newspaper notes, adding that the U.S. provides “Malawi about $200 million (Â£128m) per year, with most going to health care.” Malawi, which “was condemned by Barack Obama and international activists last year after jailing two men who underwent the southern African country’s first gay ‘marriage,’ … will now review provisions of the penal code concerning ‘indecent practices and unnatural acts,’ Ephraim Chiume, the justice minister, was quoted as saying,” the news service writes (Smith, 12/9).
“Journalists have a responsibility to cover important world issues and stories, urged Dr. Rajiv Shah, administrator of USAID, while speaking at an event at Harvard University on Thursday evening,” GlobalPost reports. “He was welling with emotion as he told this story” of a Somali mother fleeing to Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp “to a gathering of journalists and experts on global health at a forum sponsored by GlobalPost, the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism,” the news service writes.
Daniela Ligiero of the State Department, Sasha Mital of the CDC, and Diana Prieto of USAID, who are co-chairs of the PEPFAR Gender Technical Working Group, write about the “intersection between gender-based violence (GBV) and its impact on HIV risk and access to HIV prevention and treatment for most-at-risk populations…
This post in the “Malaria Policy Center” blog describes a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights, titled “Fighting Malaria: Progress and Challenges,” that was held on Monday. “Each of the witnesses commended the tremendous progress we have seen in the fight against malaria,…
“The Obama administration said Tuesday that it will intensify efforts to fight discrimination against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people as a major element of its foreign policy,” the Washington Post reports (DeYoung/Wilson, 12/6). “In the first U.S. government strategy to deal with human rights abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens abroad,” President Obama issued a presidential memorandum on Tuesday “instruct[ing] agencies to use foreign aid to promote such rights,” the Guardian writes.
“Myanmar appealed on Tuesday to the international community to increase assistance in combating HIV/AIDS, as AIDS response in the country has entered a critical stage,” Xinhua reports, adding, “The appeal was made by participants attending” a round-table discussion on reaching zero AIDS-related stigma and discrimination in the country (12/6).
The Associated Press examines the potential impact on HIV/AIDS funding of a proposed bill in Nigeria that would outlaw gay marriage; assisting a gay couple in marriage; “‘public show of same-sex amorous relationships directly or indirectly'”; or “organizing, operating or supporting gay clubs, organizations and meetings.” According to the news agency, “Statements from the U.S. and U.K. say both governments are watching the bill closely, but declined to comment further on how it may affect their outreach.” Before becoming law, the bill must pass Nigeria’s House of Representatives and be signed by President Jonathan, the AP notes (Ibukun, 12/4).