New York Times Responds To Opinion Piece About HIV/AIDS

Armen Hareyan's picture
Advertisement

The New York Times onMonday published letters to the editor in response to a recent Timesopinion piece by Daniel Halperin, a researcher at the HarvardSchool of Public Health, about HIV/AIDS and other global publichealth issues. Halperin in the opinion piece writes that althoughHIV/AIDS in developing countries requires "continued attention"and that preventing deaths from the disease remains "imperative,"other public health needs should not be "ignored" (KaiserDaily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/2). Summaries of the letters appear below.

  • Warren Andiman: "One cannot emphasize the many truths\texpressed in" Halperin's opinion piece, Andiman, professor of\tpediatric infectious diseases at the Yale\tSchool of Medicine, writes. He adds that health workers\treturning from HIV/AIDS clinics in Africa and Central America\t"report that nongovernmental programs to prevent\tmother-to-child transmission of HIV are launched but that they are\tembedded in gravely inadequate infrastructures that diminish the\tchances for success." In addition, most "poor countries\tlack the laboratory capacity to conduct the necessary blood tests to\tmeasure drug efficacy and monitor for resistance and side effects,"\taccording to Andiman (Andiman, New York Times, 1/7). \t

    \t

  • Advertisement

    David Bryden: Halperin in his opinion piece criticized the\t2008 presidential candidates who have "pledged $50 billion for\tglobal HIV/AIDS programs, saying it would make sense only if it were\t'not limited to HIV/AIDS programs,'" Bryden, communications\tdirector for the Global\tAIDS Alliance, writes. According to Bryden, the candidates who\thave made such pledges "did so knowing that one-quarter of the\tfinancing would go to programs that are not strictly AIDS-related."\tHe adds that although Halperin is "right to express outrage at\tthe low level of financing for clean water and family planning,"\the should "direct more of his criticism at" candidates who\thave "failed to make any specific commitment whatsoever on\tglobal development financing" (Bryden, New York Times,\t1/7).

    \t

  • Gregg Gonsalves: "Pitting health and developing\tpriorities against each other is simply asking for the financing pie\tto be cut up into smaller and smaller pieces, leaving developing\tcountries to make impossible choices among many worthy goals,"\tGonsalves -- coordinator for the regional Treatment and Prevention\tLiteracy and Advocacy Program at the AIDS\tand Rights Alliance for Southern Africa -- writes. He adds that\tif countries in the Organization for\tEconomic Cooperation and Development "allocated 0.7% of\ttheir" gross domestic products to "foreign assistance, as\tthey have promised, there would be plenty of money to go around to\tfully support programs to fight AIDS and other key challenges in\tAfrica and elsewhere" (Gonsalves, New York Times,\t1/7). \t

    \t

  • Malcolm Potts: It is fortunate the researchers can "now\tbe confident that the catastrophic level of heterosexual HIV\tinfection found in places such as Botswana or parts of South Africa\twill not be spread to the rest of the world," Potts, professor\tat the School of\tPublic Health at the University of California-Berkley, writes.\tHe adds, "Sadly, with the passage of time, I have seen rhetoric\treplace objective analysis and ... I have watched with dismay as\tWestern money for AIDS has distorted the larger picture of health\tpriorities of the developing world" (Potts, New York\tTimes, 1/7). \t

Reprinted with permission fromkaisernetwork.org.You can view the entire KaiserDaily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and signup for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is publishedfor kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser FamilyFoundation.

Advertisement