Wednesday, July 14, 2004

AIDS Crisis - Answering Critics of USA

It has become quite clear that the International AIDS Conference in Bangkok this week has devolved into a good ol' fashioned bash America conference.

International "Gratitude"

French president Jacques Chirac accused the USA of "blackmail". UN Secretary-General Koffi Annan spoke up, stating that the US has not done enough to fight AIDS.

Here are the FACTS:

  • The United States is spending more than any other nation on earth in the fight against AIDS. In fact, the USA is spending nearly twice as much as every other nation combined! Yet the likes of Chirac and Annan find reason to bash our country.
  • The United States is promoting a policy that promotes Abstinence first, Being faithful second, and Condoms third. This policy is referred to as "ABC", by the US. This policy is being pursued in Uganda, and was touted by Ugandan President Yoweri Musaveni, who stated that "the principle of condoms is not the ultimate solution". Apparently Chirac and Annan were too busy giving CNN soundbites to listen to Mr. Musaveni.
  • The United States has stated that foreign aid will be delivered to countries which supports its ABC (abstinence first) policy. This insistence on pursuing an abstinence-first policy has enraged critics. Gee, didn't this epidemic begin as a result of sexual promiscuity? Don't these mental midgets understand that abstinence is 100% more effective at preventing AIDS than is the use of condoms? Apparently Chirac and Annan believe that the US must pay to solve the world's problems, without placing any expectations on the beneficiaries. In other words, "pay to fix my problem, but don't make me change my lifestyle".
  • The United States policy also states that nations must purchase name-brand drugs. These drugs do not have to be US made, only name-brand (not generic). Of course, nations are screaming that they want US money, and they want to spend it with their local generic pharmaceutical companies. This would be a reasonable request except for the fact that because US aid dwarfs the rest of the world's aid, we should have some say in where that money is spent. Even after adjusting for the cost difference between name-brand drugs and generics, the United States is still funding more drug treatments than any nation on earth. Yet the criticism continues.

Perhaps it's little surprise that Jacques Chirac and Kofi Annan never let the facts get in the way of an opportunity to bash the United States. But you would think that even these two would understand that the US policy on AIDS is effective, our motives are rationale, and our generosity is unparalleled.

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