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AIDS 2010 Opinions: U.S. Funding for Global HIV/AIDS Programs; Empowering Women, Girls In Fight Against HIV/AIDS

Global Health Leaders Respond To Recent New York Times’ Opinion Pieces

Two global health leaders respond to AIDS-related opinion pieces in the New York Times letters section.

The first letter, Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, addresses an opinion piece by Desmond Tutu, archbishop emeritus of Cape Town and honorary chairman of the Global AIDS Alliance. Goosby writes, “The United States has been and continues to be the global leader on HIV/AIDS. The best metric of our success is lives saved.” Goosby cites an increased number of people on antiretrovirals financed by the United States and a commitment to treat 4 million more as part of the Global Health Initiative.

In a second letter, responding to a New York Times editorial about global AIDS funding, Adrienne Germain, president of the International Women’s Health Coalition, writes: “[M]ore resources are needed for programs to empower girls and women, here and in other countries.” She cites an increase in the number of women living with HIV globally and writes that women can be empowered by building self-esteem, educating young people that “violence and sexual coercion are unacceptable,” and providing access to health services (7/23).

President Obama Should Listen To Tutu On U.S. AIDS Commitment

Former U.S. President George W. Bush was “rightfully celebrated for his commitment to fighting the global AIDS epidemic” while President Barack Obama’s budget increase of $366 million this year “doesn’t come close to the $1 billion a year the current president promised to add as a candidate,” writes journalist Sean Kennedy in a CNN.com commentary. Kennedy notes that “people around the world are starting to notice the discrepancy,” citing Tutu’s recent opinion piece.

The commentary also discusses Obama’s domestic AIDS strategy, which “isn’t much better,” according to the author. “Obama should listen to his fellow Nobel laureate Tutu. … After all, he wants posterity to judge him more favorably than Bush, right?” Kennedy concludes (7/23).