If you think about it, PEPFAR was never a great idea. An ambitious, idealistic, somewhat glorious idea. But not actually a good one. There was no way we could keep expanding it forever. Now, the Obama administration has made the difficult decision that we cannot keep increasing PEPFAR budgets to keep pace with new HIV infections. We can’t treat our way out of an AIDS crisis and we just spent ten years focusing on treatment and neglecting prevention.
When we talk about HIV, we don’t call it a sexually transmitted disease. That’s not an obscure technicality – it’s because HIV is spread through blood as often as it is through sex – specifically via shared needles.
In June 2008, Ban Ki Moon called on all UN member states to end restrictions on travel based on HIV status, saying "60 years after the Universal Declaration on Human Rights] it is shocking that there should still be discrimination against those at high risk, such as men who have sex with men, or stigma attached to individuals living with HIV." At the time twelve countries-- Armenia, Colombia, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Sudan, the United States and Yemen -- barred en
The Ugandan government is currently debating a new law against homosexuality. Regular homosexuality is punishable by seven years in prison. Being HIV positive and having gay sex – even with a condom – would be punishable by death. I don't think it is culturally insensitive to say that this is a very bad law.
Microbicides are one of the least known technologies for fighting HIV. Everyone knows that condoms can prevent AIDS. But who thinks about microbicides? Microbicides are products – gels, rings, or other suppositories that can be inserted into vagina or anus before sex to kills viruses on contact. No physical barrier is involved, and they can be applied hours before intercourse occurs.
It feels, sometimes, like HIV is the only global health issue that ever gets covered in the mainstream media. It's everywhere, especially on December first. And every AIDS story is a plethora of numbers, heartbreaking facts, and worn faces of sick people.
As a result, we get tired of AIDS. It’s a massive epidemic, it’s horribly complex, we keep throwing money and nothing seems to help. We want AIDS to go away, and if it won’t go away, we want to just stop thinking about it.
Here’s why we shouldn’t do that: