In today’s The Sun, Bono writes an article on war on AIDS. Read it here.
Thank you so much for posting that, Peter. This is one time when the Sun doesn’t have to go out of its way to print something sensational — you can’t make up a horror like this.
If there is anyone out there who hasn’t contacted their government about this pandemic, please do so now. And do what you can to spread the word, because I tell you from experience, you can be very surprised. About a year ago at this time, I made a flyer with the facts and a plea for people to contact Bush and our Senators and Congress. I asked them to identify themselves in a way that made the letters personal, and that ensured that no one would write them off as just a bunch of activists — you know, I’m the grandmother of three, the father of two, I’m an architect, a bookkeeper, a carpenter, etc. I’m not a churchie, you know, one of those people who think they run a parish, so I passed it quietly to a few people who I thought would understand. A couple of weeks later, I was astonished to find that the pastor had included the flyer with every copy of the church bulletin that weekend, and the feedback! People who you would have thought wouldn’t have given a damn responded with enthusiasm, not only sent out their letters, but emailed the info to people, asked their families and friends to write…I am convinced that efforts like these all over the US led Bush to address US aid in his State of the Union. Bono is right about how to handle this, every voice has to be heard. If you are in the US, keep up the pressure on Bush, maybe it will take his mind off of starting a war to redeem his father. DATA says that the US has to commit $2.5 billion the first year to save the most lives, and the latest figures I’ve seen vary, but the closest I’ve seen in $2 billion, and there’s no guarantee of that if people lighten up on this issue. Go to http://www.datadata.org to send email, even though I think snail mail makes a bigger impression, and do what you can. Bono has worked so long and so hard on this issue, we have to have his back, out of plain human decency, and even in return for all he has given us.
It doesn’t but a few minutes to make a call to the White House, maybe a few more to write the letter. Just keep in mind just the time it took to have this short email conversation how many childern became orphans, or died..
While I agree that the problem is as serious as Bono says, I’m not sure I agree with every part of the solution: the fact is, there are NO “life-saving” drugs. There are no cures, only drugs that delay and lessen the effects of AIDS. Prevention of infection should be at LEAST as important as treating the infected. AIDS is, for the most part, spread by behavior, so we can at least see some results from advocating behavioral change. THAT is why Uganda is winning the war on AIDS: they didn’t spend more money, they just encouraged clergy to spread a message of abstinance and monogamy. Some AIDS activists are unwilling to consider this approach for political reasons, and that is morally reprehensible. We have a responsibility to both our taxpayers and the people of Africa to push for programs that actually work. http://www.nationalreview.com/dreher/dreher013003.asp
Bono also briefly mentions “fair trade,” and he has put his name behind MakeTradeFair.com (whose most high-profile supporter is Chris Martin). While “fair trade” is a grand idea, FREE trade is better in that it actually works. MTF.com opposes subsidies and tarriffs, two very good things to oppose. But they also apparently support artificially inflating the price of coffee; history has shown that it will lead to a decrease in the demand for coffee, and it will be harder for farmers to sell what they grow. They also support less stringent patent laws. While that will make it easier to get AIDS drugs now, it will create a disincentive to create new medicines in the future. The Law of Unintended Consequences cannot be denied.
Allow me to make one more post to make myself clear: we SHOULD indeed help Africa in its crises of AIDS and poverty. But we should seek out programs that are the most effective, and we should most certainly avoid programs that will likely do more harm than good (i.e., price-fixing).
programs which rely upon abstinence and “hope & prayers” from above come closer to voodoo than a real cure or medicine. teach, don’t preach. there is no such thing as a moral disease, only amoral. to say that behavior is in part the problem is a reasonable argument, but outdated — that is like no abortions for “sinners.” the emphasis of cure is about cure. the arguments of abstinence are as careless and unrealistic not to mention intangible as the unstructured reasoning presented in the debate of a cure for aids (or effort to extend life, if you prefer).
Bono is dead wrong. Education will not stop AIDS. How can I be so certain? The sad truth is it is the educated in Africa who are most likely to get AIDS. How is that possible? Bono should rethink his message, because it has been proven wrong. http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_752279.html?menu=news.latestheadlines
The first AIDS vaccine was successful in reducing AIDS infection rates 78% in blacks. This is just the first vaccine to make it to Phase III human trials. It is using 1998 knowledge. Far more promising work is in earlier stages of testing. AIDS is beatable in the very near future.
We *could* donate money to Bono’s cause. The one already shown to not work, and stand no chance to do anything but prolong the suffering of millions. Or… we could press for more research and funding… and actually save the world! But then Bono wouldn’t have as many photo ops talking to men in lab coats in American university hospitals would he?
“programs which rely upon abstinence and ‘hope & prayers’ from above come closer to voodoo than a real cure or medicine.” Whatever the source, it seems to be working. So we probably should support such programs — assuming effectiveness actually is a relevant criterion: http://www.nationalreview.com/dreher/dreher013003.asp
seems? submit measures and not operatives and i will follow.’…
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