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January 7, 2008

Is PEPFAR George Bush’s Greatest Bipartisan Accomplishment?

In its January 5 issue, The New York Times examines George W. Bush’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), suggesting that it “may be the most lasting bipartisan accomplishment of the Bush presidency” (nytimes.com, 1/5).

Bush has proposed a new five-year commitment of $30 billion to fight HIV/AIDS globally—up from his original proposal of $15 billion during his 2003 State of the Union address.

“It’s a good thing that he wanted to spend the money,” Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, who challenged Bush for the presidency in 2004, said in the Times article. “I think it represents a tremendous accomplishment for the country.” According to the Times, however, Kerry, like many AIDS activists, criticized Bush’s requirement that one third of expenditures be used to fund abstinence-only education programs.

Planning at first to treat 2 million people, prevent infection for 7 million people and provide care for 10 million at-risk orphans and small children, PEPFAR has thus far treated 1.4 million people and provided care for nearly 6.7 million people, the Times reports. In addition, 152,000 infants have been protected from perinatal infection thanks to antiretroviral drugs provided by the program. Meanwhile, as the Times noted on December 2, 2007, spending for U.S. domestic prevention efforts dropped 19 percent in inflation-adjusted terms from 2002 to 2007.


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  comments 1 - 9 (of 9 total)    

Robert Moore, Atlanta, 2008-01-12 00:02:09
Since he pays lip service to local control, he should allow the money to be spent on education appropriate for the intended local audience. In most cases, abstinence only education is inappropriate for people for who abstinence is just not going to happen. Even teenagers should be given the information they need on making sex as safe as possible.

Ray, Washington, DC, 2008-01-10 11:11:34
Also, PEPFAR was basically a pay off to big pharma (Quid Pro Quo). One patient's meds for 1 month that cost $25 on world market had to be purchased for $600 to US pharma in order to receive PEPFAR funds. This has been softened due to public outcry but how many lives did that cost?

Terry Anderson, Silver Spring, MD, 2008-01-10 10:03:43
PEPFAR is laudable, but most of the Beltway bandits doing PEPFAR work have no interest in hiring people living with HIV. That needs to change. A huge chunk of PEPFAR money is spent on the salaries and travel expenses of jet-setting do-gooders who have no first-hand experience with HIV.

Steve, , 2008-01-09 21:54:50
Who can believe the actual #'s that come out of this administration. With just a glimpse under the surface at katrina and the waist and ill spent + waist of money spent and lost. This president is well known for his posturing, and photo ops. How well examined are the expenditures and where they are going. We have to take what we can get, yet? I seriously question the faith based initiative funds, follow up and are they checked into.

llm, wilmington, 2008-01-08 12:42:03
WHAT ABOUT THE USA...DO I NEED TO SAY ANY MORE!!!!!

Anne, Memphis,TN, 2008-01-08 11:38:01
I agree with Barbara.There needs to be more funding in the US and outreach to the "new at-risk" population,African-Americans.Please don't think all is well here.

Greg747, Patchogue, NY, 2008-01-08 11:06:24
ARGH. A Bush AIDS legacy - laughable were it not so tragic. Where do I begin? Replacing the CARE Act with that awful Treatment Modernization Act? Wasting millions on abstinence nonsense? Allowing homophobic churches tons of public tax dollars? (The Dems are also to blame for allowing this bs to happen - spineless, I believe is the word for them!)

Barbara, Rochester, NY, 2008-01-08 10:22:28
As laudable as Bush' initiative is, let's not forget that much of the funding is faith-based and that the emphasis is on abstinence. In addition, what about increased funding for those in the U.S. who are infected and cannot afford medication. I seem to remember that some people on the waiting list for ADAP in South Carolina died before getting the life-saving drugs.

Bob Reynolds, Tampa, 2008-01-08 10:14:37
As important as prevention is to the individual and the nation as a whold, what is happening that affects those of us living with the disease. The per capita expenditure has been reduced dramatically the last seven years. We have the same dollars, inflation and more people living with the disease.

comments 1 - 9 (of 9 total)    


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