Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Tackling AIDS in Africa
The Seattle Times ^ | 3/12/02 | Richard E. Stearns

Posted on 03/13/2002 12:01:41 PM PST by goodnesswins

Tackling AIDS in Africa

By Richard E. Stearns .... Special to The Times

Six months ago, 19 young men boarded four jetliners and killed nearly 4,000 people. In an unprecedented outpouring of compassion, Americans donated more than a billion dollars in a matter of weeks to care for those affected by the terrorists' attacks and resulting crisis.

Last week, two of our country's leading citizens boarded a plane to call attention to another crisis, one that has already killed 22 million people and threatens to orphan 40 million children by the end of the decade.

Jimmy Carter, America's most-respected former president, is traveling to Africa with a man who has one of the most difficult jobs in America: giving away — responsibly — more than $20 billion. Bill Gates Sr. is co-director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the father of the richest man in the world.

The visit lends the considerable weight of the Carter and Gates names to the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world, and demonstrates the commitment of their foundations to stop the killing of millions of Africans resulting from AIDS. But will it move Americans to respond with compassion for the widows, orphans and other survivors of the 8,000 people who die of AIDS each day?

Regrettably, most Americans don't care about Africa's AIDS crisis. And our government doesn't care enough.

President George W. Bush has proposed $900 million in spending next year on the AIDS crisis — less than the cost to build one cost-overrun-plagued LPD-17 Amphibious Ship for the Navy. And it's about enough to buy a latte and biscotti for every American. In the 20 minutes it takes to drink that latte, more than 100 people will die of AIDS, most of them in developing countries. Every minute, a child dies of AIDS.

The U.S. government is channeling millions of dollars through non-governmental humanitarian organizations, including World Vision, to effectively fight the AIDS crisis. But much more must be done. By the year 2005, 100 million people will have been infected with this fatal disease — more than the combined casualties, military and civilian, of World Wars I and II.

America's might was critical to victory over tyranny in the past century; its leadership is essential to winning the war against AIDS in the new century.

AIDS is the greatest challenge to relief and development organizations in a half-century. While facing needs for new services on a massive scale, aid agencies are seeing development gains — won through decades of education and development assistance — wiped out. For example, average life expectancy in Botswana is predicted to drop below 30 by the year 2010 because of AIDS. Families, communities — even entire economies — are being wiped out.

Until recently, the disease's long and devastating march across Africa has gone largely unnoticed in the United States. In its first decade, the American public saw AIDS as a disease primarily of homosexuals, drug users and those unfortunate enough to have received tainted blood products.

Its second decade brought more awareness of medical advances that have enhanced and prolonged the lives of countless people, including celebrities like Magic Johnson, who are infected with the AIDS virus. However, by no means is it a manageable, chronic disease in Africa, home to 70 percent of the world's 40 million AIDS cases. In some countries, public spending on health care is just $5 per person. Often, families caring for AIDS patients can barely afford soap, let alone anti-viral drug regimens.

But as the disease headed for its third decade, U.S. media coverage of AIDS in Africa reached the covers of publications such as Time and Newsweek, as well as network television. The public is aware of the AIDS crisis. But most Americans still don't care.

A poll conducted last year by the Barna Research Group found that only 8 percent of Americans would definitely donate money for the international AIDS crisis. By contrast, more than 70 percent of Americans donated to charities helping people affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

While an additional one-third of respondents to the Barna poll said they might give to help Africa's AIDS crisis, more than half said they would not help children orphaned because of AIDS (54 percent) or support AIDS education and prevention overseas (61 percent).

Meanwhile, Africans are tackling their own problems, often without any help from the West.

In the community of Kagera, Tanzania, grandmothers welcomed their children home — to die. They didn't want to lose the next generation, too. So each day, the grandmothers sat with their grandchildren under a tree, teaching them what they could. Impressed by their efforts, a local farmer gave them two cows — providing milk for the children and a small amount to sell. Another villager donated a plot of land. Today, 40 orphans attend a two-room school.

Eventually, the grandmothers received more help. But first, they demonstrated the inner strength necessary to tackle the AIDS problem and the intuitive understanding of what their grandchildren needed most: education, hope and empowerment.

It's a message we hope our former president and America's leading philanthropist bring home. Africa's AIDS crisis can be solved. But it will take determination on the part of African leaders, leadership by the U.S. government, and generosity by the American people on the scale demonstrated on Sept. 11.

Richard E. Stearns is president of Federal Way-based World Vision (www.worldvision.org). Founded in 1950, World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization, serving the world's poorest children and families in nearly 100 countries.

Copyright © 2002 The Seattle Times Company


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: 911; aids; uncaringamericans
I think it's great that Bill Gates and WorldVision want to help Africa.....BUT, I DO NOT think that our tax dollars should go there.....and this comparison to 9/11 makes me ill.
1 posted on 03/13/2002 12:01:41 PM PST by goodnesswins
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: goodnesswins
OKAY....I posted this in CULTURE....what happened?
2 posted on 03/13/2002 12:02:35 PM PST by goodnesswins
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: goodnesswins
Here's a thought.....STOP HAVING SEX WITH MULTIPLE PARTNERS!
3 posted on 03/13/2002 12:06:16 PM PST by triggerhappy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: goodnesswins
This is like trying to hold back the ocean. Good luck!
4 posted on 03/13/2002 12:13:50 PM PST by Destructor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: goodnesswins
From the National Institutes of Health web site on current funding of medical research:

The FY 2003 budget request for the NIH, based on current law, is $27,244 million, including VA/HUD appropriated Superfund-related research activities.

The Fiscal Year 2003 President's budget requests $27,335 million for NIH, an increase of $3,902 million, or 16.7% over the FY 2002 estimate, and an increase of $3,712 million or 15.7 percent when including the FY 2002 Emergency Response Fund. This budget request for FY 2003 includes $91.1 million for accrued retirement and health benefits associated with the proposed Managerial Flexibility Act of 2001.

The budget completes the President's commitment to double the FY 1998 appropriation level in five years. Of this amount, $76 million is requested from the Veteran's Administration/Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee for Superfund research activities. The NIH President's budget request to the Labor/Health and Human Services/Education Appropriations Committee is $27,259 million.

Support for AIDS research will increase by $255 million, or 10 percent over the FY 2002 estimate, for a total of $2,770 million. This amount includes accrued costs for the AIDS research program.

The FY 2003 President's budget request will allow NIH to continue its FY 2002 support of $100 million for the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis, to further the NIH's efforts to prevent and alleviate these diseases.

Tax-supported research and treatment for AIDS is $2.7 BILLION. I guess that's not enough. AIDS is the most funded medical problem in the world, courtesy of the US taxpayer.

5 posted on 03/13/2002 12:14:15 PM PST by 45Auto
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: goodnesswins
Desmond Tutu said this recently during an interview on the AIDS crisis in South Africa. There is a myth amongst the population that if you have AIDS, having sex with a VERY young virgin will cure you. This man said this with a straight face. And they want OUR tax money to fix their insanity.

This myth is the excuse for the rampant baby rape crisis in Africa .

Frankly, there are no words.

6 posted on 03/13/2002 12:14:23 PM PST by OldFriend
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: OldFriend
This is an example of bad science and bad information getting to the public. AIDS is caused by a virus. Sex with a young person will not eliminate the virus from someone's system, only spread it further. SA's president denies that a virus causes AIDS; this doesn't help, it only makes it harder to get the information out.
7 posted on 03/13/2002 12:19:12 PM PST by Doctor Stochastic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: OldFriend
As bad as AIDS is, it it still one of the most easily preventable diseases: all it requires is a life-style and behavior change. The only innocent adult victims are those who got it through transfusions with tainted blood. Mr. Stearns has a vested interest in getting his hands on a lot more money to dole out, subtracting his necessary overhead, no doubt. Other than that, AIDS activists would really like a nice, convenient medicine that they could take in order to render their behavior less life threatening. Its the typical liberal whine: we don't want to accept the consequences of our behavior, nor even to acknowledge that there are any consequences; that way we don't have to be responsible.
8 posted on 03/13/2002 12:24:10 PM PST by 45Auto
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: triggerhappy
Here's a thought.....STOP HAVING SEX WITH MULTIPLE PARTNERS!

Your post is just another example of the West trying to impose its cultural values on others. We should just give them all our money and let them do whatever they want. < /sarcasm >

9 posted on 03/13/2002 12:25:03 PM PST by Dakmar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: goodnesswins
A lot of what can be called "traditional" African diseases have become reclassified as "AIDS" in order to get attention.

Remember that AIDS is pretty much medically defined as "opportunistic infection" + HIV virus (a definition that's controversial even in the western world). In Africa, HIV is not considered even a requirement.

Since this means that a lot of heterosexuals have "AIDS" in Africa, the PC factor kicks in too

AIDS, Africa, and the WHO.

-Eric

10 posted on 03/13/2002 12:28:02 PM PST by E Rocc
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 45Auto
They want to have sex with each other until they drop, fine with me. However, their excuse for raping babies is just so much bullship to excuse their barbarian behaviour.
11 posted on 03/13/2002 12:28:41 PM PST by OldFriend
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: goodnesswins
AIDS is the solution to the Africa problem.
12 posted on 03/13/2002 12:35:59 PM PST by bert
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: goodnesswins
America's might was critical to victory over tyranny in the past century; its leadership is essential to winning the war against AIDS in the new century.

America's might can't stop Africans from sleeping around. Only the Africans can.

13 posted on 03/13/2002 12:38:44 PM PST by A Ruckus of Dogs
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: E Rocc
They trying to blame Pete Townshend for AIDS now?
14 posted on 03/13/2002 12:43:50 PM PST by Dakmar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: goodnesswins
Jimmy Carter, America's most-respected former president

I knew after this, there would be little of interest in the rest.


15 posted on 03/13/2002 12:47:27 PM PST by razorback-bert
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: goodnesswins
AIDS in africa?....not my problem.

Africa is a bottomless pit. Now amount of aid will make a dent in their problem. Do we think it is within our power to rescue russia's economy? Of course not! Why do we think we can tackle africa's health care problems?????????

UNBELEIVABLE
16 posted on 03/13/2002 12:49:46 PM PST by mamelukesabre
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: goodnesswins
It is racist to think that these free, independant black African countries must have aid, direction and help from white American and European countries to solve their problems. They wanted independance and they got independance. Independance means solving your own problems.
17 posted on 03/13/2002 12:49:52 PM PST by Random Access
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: razorback-bert
Yep...as soon as I read that I scrolled down to see if anyone else caught it...you're a sharpie razorback.
18 posted on 03/13/2002 12:54:50 PM PST by Cuttnhorse
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Random Access
It is racist to think that these free, independant black African
countries must have aid, direction and help from white American and
European countries to solve their problems.


19 posted on 03/13/2002 1:13:50 PM PST by gcruse
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: goodnesswins
African AIDS:
- sexual promiscuity;
- unacknowledged homosexuality (they say they're not gay but they are);
- disgusting unsanitary practices like female genital mutilation (sometimes en masse, with the same rusty razor being used on girl after girl) and ritual scarification;
- "medical" practices like using the same needles repeatedly without sterilization.

This is supposed to be OUR government's fault, and OUR responsibility to clean up. How?
20 posted on 03/13/2002 3:40:49 PM PST by ikanakattara
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: goodnesswins
Jimmy Carter, America's most-respected former president,

I can't believe this!!!!

21 posted on 03/13/2002 3:47:13 PM PST by Renatus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ikanakattara
add malnutrition/starvation to your list.
22 posted on 03/13/2002 3:59:16 PM PST by GWfan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: ikanakattara
I have posted this before, but an aquaintance of mine worked in the peace corp (in Africa) and told me that there was virtually no bio-hazard disposal at the hospital.....the staff threw the garbage out the window. Volunteers were supposed to clean up the grounds. She only volunteered for that job once.
23 posted on 03/13/2002 4:03:29 PM PST by GWfan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: all
AIDS arose in Africa. It is said to be a monkey disease which jumped over into the human population. AIDS is supposedly transmitted only in two ways. Question: Did the Africans share needles with the green monkeys?
24 posted on 03/13/2002 9:37:16 PM PST by RWCon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Dakmar
They trying to blame Pete Townshend for AIDS now?
They just don't want to get fooled again.

-Eric

25 posted on 03/14/2002 5:03:03 AM PST by E Rocc
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson