Tuesday, August 7, 2012

AIDS as a foreign policy issue

AIDS is more than a strictly health problem, as it touches upon demographic issues and economic challenges that should affect policies and economy on long term. Very often, coping with AIDS issues is a matter of policies of foreign aid of rich countries and one of the main supporter of such policies is represented by the US.

The current top diplomat Hillary Clinton was involved successfully in AIDS related initiatives when she was the first Lady and it was obvious that such concerns will be continued as part of the mandate at the Foreign Office. However, due to the economic crisis and many other priorities introduced on the daily agenda, the support for the policies aimed to put an end to AIDS were wavering across time and various political interests. 

Following the July 2012 International AIDS Conference, CFR Senior Global Health Fellow Laurie Garrett explained in an interview the main failures and chances of success of the US global policies in this domain

Thus, even though the eradication of AIDS is still a very far away objective, the need for funding is very serious. We may think that it is very problematic to find the sources of funding for African countries, we should keep in mind that in the US the efforts to identify HIV infected population are also problematic. Another aspect of fighting AIDS is that is presents as well a dimension of fighting for women's rights and thus, you have clearly an engaging dimension of foreign policy. An important milestone of the fight against AIDS could be considered the coming 2015 Millenium Development Goal when many of the objectives should be revisited in a dramatic way. 

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