As World AIDS Day approaches the contention by many seems to be the hype that the HIV/AIDS advocacy community has steered away from other health issues. A couple months ago, a global health think tank asked for the disembarkation of UNAIDS in the British Medical Journal: “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.”
HIV/AIDS remains far from controlled. However, the disease and public health contentions are taking a different turn since the early 90s with the advent of anti retro-virals (ARVs). Patients are living much longer lives and people aren’t seeing their friends die of secondary complications coupled to living with AIDS (i.e. a myriad of bacterial infections as a results of attenuated immunity). Some epidemiologists even predict/quote that transmission rates are increasing b/c of this. It is time we stop taking a Western-centric view of the HIV/AIDS and realize that it is an epidemic of countries not our own and the visibility UNAIDS (among others) have allowed for leaverage of those suffering.
Concomitantly, diarrhea is still the number one killer in the developing world and may we all see the day that the world stands in solidarity with diseases/illnesses that take the quality of lives of our sisters and brothers across the world and not just our own . . . in peace and solidarity, yalda