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July 02, 2002

Ignoring the AIDS Holocaust

People look back in history and wonder why people did so little to prevent the Holocaust against the Jews? Or did not speak out about any number of human tragedies.
...You need only look at Africa where the world is largely sitting back as tens of millions have died of AIDS and many millions more will die. A new UN report documents the estimated 3 million deaths each year from AIDS and the fact that in many sub-Saharan countries 39% of the population is infected.
...The media and the public are obsessed with deaths from war and direct violence, whether the World Trade Center attacks, Afghanistan or the Middle East. But even the worst of wars pales in comparison to deaths from disease.
...Some might argue that our attention is caught by deliberate evil, but apathy and greed, which have withheld both financial aid and needed drugs from Africa, are evil of the highest order. Disease is not "natural"-- the containment of AIDS in richer developing nations versus its ravishing of Africa show how economic inequality is inextricably linked to disease.
...Less than $3 billion is spent on fighting AIDS worldwide, $7 billion less than the estimated need. And the US gave only $300 million; in 2000, it donated about one-tenth of 1 percent of its gross domestic product to assist developing countries overall -- the lowest percentage of any wealthy nation.
...To be blunt, in fifty years the attack on the World Trade Center will be a horrific footnote. But the AIDS Holocaust will be remembered as one of the seminal tragedies of our age, one that our nation did little to stop.

Posted by Nathan at July 2, 2002 11:44 AM

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Why do you have to burden a perfectly sensible and right on target commentary on how the governments of the North have turned their back on the AIDS pandemic with that dumb reference to September 11 being a footnote to history? The right wing is already trying to depreciate the importance of September 11, by comaring it to -- of all things -- the decision to strike "under God" from the pledge of allegiance. Why would you ever want to join them?

Posted by: Leo Casey at July 3, 2002 05:29 PM

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