Friday, January 16, 2009

Bush's Legacy: AIDS in Africa

Shorter Bill Frist: Bush saved 10 million lives! He did! As a physician I can tell these things! He saved Africans from AIDS with his anti-AIDS program!

Although the U.S. has been looked upon as a leader in the fight against
HIV/AIDS, the Bush administration has been criticized for playing to
fundamentalist views at the expense of girls and women and effective
comprehensive approaches.


The U.S. has also been under fire for its Global Gag Rule that withholds
funding from any organization that even mentions abortion to its clients as
a family planning option. As a result, many clinics providing condoms to
clients shut down for lack of funds,.

In 2003, rather than put all the U.S. funds for AIDS into the multilateral
Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS established the previous year, President
George W. Bush set up a separate unilateral program called the President’s
Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Though widely seen as insufficient for the enormity of the task, the $9
billion in new money spread out over five years was a significant
contribution and encouraged other nations to do their share. Yet PEPFAR came
with restrictive funding requirements that, according to Boonstra, have hurt
countries in combating AIDS.

In accepting U.S. money, countries must use one-third of all funding to
promote abstinence. As a result, countries had to cut back on other
essential programs. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that
the cutbacks included slashing programs that prevent mother-to-child
transmission and others using comprehensive approaches such as condom
distribution to high-risk, sexually active teenagers.
What was that about saving lives?
BUSH LIED ABOUT THE AIDS FUNDING HIS ADMINISTRATION IS PROVIDING, AS WELL AS ITS TIMING "Mr. Bush's other foreign aid initiative, announced in his State of the Union address, is $10 billion in new money to fight AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean over five years. But his budget falls short of that promise. He is proposing only a $550 million increase over the global AIDS money in this year's spending bill now in Congress. Since the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria would be an effective channel for the aid, there is no excuse for the initiative's leisurely start. Mr. Bush's 2004 budget for the Global Fund, $200 million, actually cuts in half what Congress is likely to do in 2003. Mr. Bush has also found part of the money for his AIDS programs by cutting nearly $500 million from child health, including vaccine programs. Child survival is the biggest loser in the foreign aid budget — a scandalous way to finance AIDS initiatives. With the budget dominated by defense spending and huge tax cuts for the wealthy, the White House should not be forcing the babies of Africa to pay for their parents' AIDS drugs." 2.17.03
Did Frist just phone this in after watching Bush on videotape?

No comments: