November 18, 2004
Less than two weeks before World AIDS Day,
the Bush Administration's full-bore assault on the
premiere multilateral vehicle of hope for people with AIDS
is a clear sign of how a go-it-alone President will choose
ideology over compassion in his second term.
People with HIV/AIDS from around the World
Condemn the Bush Administration
Attacks on the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis
and Malaria and the World Health Organization
< action from International AIDS Conference 2004
People with HIV/AIDS and their advocates today strongly condemn the attempts by the United States to block new funding for HIV/AIDS programs around the world through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and its systematic attempts to undermine the work of the World Health Organization and its efforts to ensure that 3 million people in the developing world receive HIV treatment by the end of 2005.
The suspension, proposed by the United States, of new funding for HIV, TB and malaria programs by the Global Fund, will lead to the loss of countless numbers of lives and to thousands of new infections. While we recognize there have been some problems in the disbursement of grants and implementation of programs through the Global Fund, this is not an excuse for suspending new grants to countries that desperately need this support. A fifth round of funding by the Global Fund would provide vital resources to nations around the world confronting these pandemics.
We also condemn the US government's attacks and those by right-wing think tanks associated with the Administration on the World Health Organization and its prequalification process for evaluating antiretroviral drugs. While there have been specific problems with the dossiers submitted by some of the manufacturers of generic AIDS drugs to the WHO, these problems were recognized and are being handled by the agency. We urge the US government to work with the WHO to strengthen its prequalification program rather than setting up its own regulatory process for these drugs at the US Food and Drug Administration as well as duplicative supply and procurement programs in the developing world.
With these events taken together, we believe that the US government is seeking to draw control of global AIDS programs under its own leadership rather than supporting multilateral responses through the WHO and the Global Fund. The United States cannot go it alone in the fight against AIDS and must work in cooperation with the global community. It should not abuse its power in setting the agenda in the fight against this disease, particularly when it has championed abstinence-only prevention programs that do not work and expensive brand-name drugs that are unsustainable solutions for the developing world.
Ecuadorian Coalition of People Living with HIV/AIDS
Treatment Action Campaign
Peruvian Coordination of People Living with HIV/AIDS
National Coalition for Acess to Treatment "Group for Life"
AIDS & Rights Alliance for Southern Africa
Jamaica AIDS Support
Health Action International (HAI) Africa
Charitable Foundation "Spodivannya"
AID FOR AIDS
Association of PLWHAs "CREDINTA"
AIDS Law Unit of the Legal Assistance Centre
Believe Dhliwayo & Tapiwanashe Kujinga
Zimbabwe Activists on HIV/AIDS
gTt, Grupo de Trabajo sobre Tratamientos del VIH
Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS
Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP+)
Gay Men's Health Crisis
Chris W. Green
European AIDS Treatment Group
Italian League for fighting AIDS (LILA)
Italian Community Advisory Board
Treatment Action Group
Center for Health and Gender Equity
Kenya Treatment Access Movement
CNF "All together"
Odessa Charity Fund "The Way Home"
Plus Minus Foundation
International Harm Reduction Development Program
Open Society Institute
National Forum of PWA Networks/Health Rights Action Group
Coalition for Health Promotion and Social Development
Women Fighting AIDS in Kenya - WOFAK
Valeri Pahomov, Chair of the Board
Odessa charitable foundation "For future without AIDS
Germán Humberto Rincón Perfetti
Asociación Líderes en Acción
Oswaldo A. Rada
RedLa+ Latinamerican Network of People living with HIV/AIDS
Fundación Apoyo y Solidaridad "FAS"
Katja Roll & Rainer Seybold
Action against AIDS Germany
Anya Sarang & Raminta Stuikyte
Central Eastern European Harm Reduction Network
Elena Traicu and Lucia Stirbu
UNOPA (National Union of the Organizations of HIV/AIDS Affected Peoples)
International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
plus many additional names
The Global Fund still "finds itself short of its goals and on the defensive" with the Bush administration, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Two congressional subcommittees responsible for allocating appropriations to the fund on Thursday cut the U.S. pledge for 2005 to $350 million -- almost $200 million less than last year's donation. "This is a horrible confirmation of our fears of what the second Bush administration will bring," Dr. Paul Zeitz, executive director of the Global AIDS Alliance, said. The Bush administration's "foot dragging" almost "shut down a long list" of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria projects, a San Francisco Chronicle editorial says. The U.S.-proposed delay was "typical" of the "political sideshow that undercuts the war on AIDS," while the "infighting" between the administration and the fund "imperils the fragile existence of dozens of countries depleted by the uphill fight" against the three diseases, according to the Chronicle.
OPINION CLOSE TO THE TRUTH:
By running any global AIDS programs through PEPFAR, and not the Global Fund, generic drugs will not be made available, programs will have to promote abstinence and will probably be precluded from providing condoms, and any foreign agency also providing abortions will be deemed ineligible for funding.
Also, it wouldn't be surprising if PEPFAR started giving contracts to faith based groups and/ or military-industrial types like Halliburton to provide services and develop infrastructure in developing countries. It's always been thought pharma and the military-industrial complex were natural allies.
Although the USA is despicable for its lack of funding, the other world "leaders" also deserve blame. see also: Demonstration Against World Leaders
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