CTV.ca | AIDS crisis overblown? Some experts dare to say so
LONDON -- As World AIDS Day is marked Monday, some experts are growing more outspoken in complaining that AIDS is eating up funding at the expense of more pressing health needs.Quote has been trimmed
They argue that the world has entered a post-AIDS era in which the disease's spread has largely been curbed in much of the world, except Africa.
"AIDS is a terrible humanitarian tragedy, but it's just one of many terrible humanitarian tragedies," said Jeremy Shiffman, who studies health spending at Syracuse University.
Roger England of Health Systems Workshop, a think-tank based in the Caribbean island of Grenada, goes further. He argues that UNAIDS, the United Nations agency leading the fight against the disease, has outlived its purpose and should be disbanded.
"The global HIV industry is too big and out of control. We have created a monster with too many vested interests and reputations at stake, ... too many relatively well paid HIV staff in affected countries, and too many rock stars with AIDS support as a fashion accessory," he wrote in the British Medical Journal in May.
"So Charles, I was saying to Chamile the other day that the amount of runny fecal matter coming out of the children these days is simply atrocious...."
*puffs on pipe and takes a sip of his cocktail*
These competing claims on public money are likely to grow louder as the world financial meltdown threatens to deplete health dollars.
"We cannot afford, in this time of crisis, to squander our investments," Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO's director-general, said in a recent statement.
Some experts ask whether it makes sense to have UNAIDS, WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank, the Global Fund plus countless other AIDS organizations, all serving the same cause.
"I do not want to see the cause of AIDS harmed," said Shiffman of Syracuse University. But "For AIDS to crowd out other issues is ethically unjust."
De Lay argues that the solution is not to reshuffle resources but to boost them.
"To take money away from AIDS and give it to diarrheal diseases or onchocerciasis (river blindness) or leishmaniasis (disfiguring parasites) doesn't make any sense," he said. "We'd just be doing a worse job in everything else."
Nowhere that's where.
Funding for these types of things, among everything else these days is already tight for many obvious reasons and he thinks simply getting more money to put into it is going to work?
Sure it would if you got the money in the first place.
Much of what was said does make sense.... why have that many organizations for one cause? If more people are dying from other illnesses much greater then AIDS/HIV, then where is the logic in not shifting the funding to those more important to get them back down to decent levels?
It is a pretty bad illness and would be nice to wipe off the map, but it also makes sense to better manage the funds and money supporting other causes as well.
There's only so much money to go around and if you put all your money into your car, then what do you have left for your bills and food? All are important, but if you don't balance it all out, you may end up losing it all. Same thing for this. If you focus all the funding and money into one problem, then what happens to the other problems in the world in regards to illnesses?
They get worse. And in the long run, what is the best solution when facing that?