Sunday, July 08, 2012

George Bush Saves Millions In Africa

A painful admission from the New York Times.  
About half a million mothers with H.I.V., which causes AIDS, used to infect their babies in childbirth each year, but now a simple treatment regimen aims to eliminate that by 2015. 

The progress is the result in large part of Pepfar, or the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (which the United States supports). To his great credit, President George W. Bush started Pepfar in 2003; it’s the best thing he did. 

With the help of Pepfar and the Global Fund, antiretrovirals, which are powerful AIDS drugs, are now available free in needy countries. AIDS will still kill millions of people, and there are already shortages of medications, but the tide is turning. 

“As a bottom line, millions would not be alive without Pepfar, while, at the same time, millions more in their families have been saved from poverty because mothers and fathers are productive again,” notes Dr. Peter Piot, the former executive director of the United Nations program against AIDS and the author of a sparkling new memoir, “No Time to Lose.” 

“If we have reached a turning point in the global AIDS response, it is also largely due to Pepfar,” Dr. Piot added. “There are probably very few examples in international aid that can demonstrate such dramatic, direct impact.”

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