Monday, December 05, 2005

Not enough progress on AIDS

In an editorial entitled, "Optimism on AIDS but no certainty," the Seattle Times points out:

No one is suggesting we ignore the threat of a bird-flu pandemic. But the world's eight wealthiest countries pledged to cut AIDS, TB and malaria deaths in half by 2015, and work toward universal AIDS treatment by 2010. The progress made thus far won't get us to this goal. [emphasis added]

Making deeper inroads in treatment is just as critical as reducing the rate of infections. We all know that drugs cannot cure AIDS. But they can make it possible for parents to be healthy enough to work and support families. With about 15 million children under 17 having lost one or both parents to the disease, keeping parents around long enough to raise their children is an investment worth making.

Maybe a "glass half full" analogy will work for some, but I'm in the mood to promote my version of the headline. Have I mentioned that Texas has a waiting list for one of the medications on its ADAP formulary? Have I mentioned that the Texas HIV Medication Program is looking at a funding shortfall before the end of the biennium? Have I mentioned that HIV services in Texas face cuts in the next year?

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