The Science Speaks blog interviewed Dr. Eric Goosby, the US global AIDS ambassador, today. In the interview he discusses the shift from being an activist to a government official, why the HIV budget for Africa is not going to decrease, and PEPFAR’s commitment to universal access.
Some highlights from the interview:
On rumors that funding for HIV efforts in South Africa is about to radically decrease
“Every year there’s been an overall increase in funding for PEPFAR, and we’ve also not been in a situation where we’ve had a decrease in any country, certainly not in South Africa. Our funding for South Africa is over a half billion dollars a year. Our resources that go into South Africa are having a huge impact…”
On universal access to HIV drugs
“Our expectation was never that we would be the sole source of funding to fight the epidemic. … PEPFAR or any other single funding line will not be able to successfully respond to the unmet need. … It’s not within one single program’s ability to mount that response.”
And on activism
“What I think is most needed today is for advocates to look at the larger picture of responsibility, i.e., who is responsible for the response, and to start to talk about it as a shared responsibility, not just dependent on any one country to model a response…”