Stephen Lewis, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa - U2 Feedback

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Old 03-03-2004, 01:38 PM   #1
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Stephen Lewis, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa

Notes for Press Briefing, United Nations, New York: Noon, March 3, 2004 Stephen Lewis, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa
EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:30 NEW YORK (17.30 GMT)

( This is just a portion of it)

Quote:
I've asked for this press briefing in order to sound an alarm. It's analarm relating to the World Health Organization's plan, with the support of UNAIDS, to put three million people into anti-retroviral treatment by 2005. The "3 by 5" initiative, as it is called is, in my view, one of the most important initiatives that has emerged from the United Nations in the life of the pandemic. We're dealing with a new World Health Organization, under new leadership, and as a hallmark of that new leadership, they have launched this herculean effort to confront and subdue HIV/AIDS; to introduce hope where there was only despair. It's an extraordinary undertaking, suffused by courage and commitment. It deserves the unqualified support of the international community. Millions of lives are at stake.
Astonishingly, that support is not forthcoming. Hence this alarm.
The World Health Organization needs $200 million, over 2004 and 2005, to put 3 by 5 in place. So far --- and we are into the third month of 2004 --- donor governments have been unwilling to contribute the money.
Quote:
Let me be clear: virtually every African country, with medium to high prevalence rates, has a treatment plan in place, replete with guidelines. Virtually every African country has done some training to create the minimal staff requirements. Many of the countries have somemoney from the Global Fund, or the World Bank, or the Clinton foundation, or the Gates Foundation or the United Nations family or bilateral donors. For the first time, they stand a chance to sever the cycle of despair. What they need is exactly what the World Health organization can provide: the capacity to give overall co-ordination and direction so that the treatment regimens succeed and countries can move to scale. It's the most exciting prospect of the last twenty years. It would be the first time the world could thumb its nose at the
apocalypse. The increments towards the goal have been set out by the World Bank and WHO: five hundred thousand in treatment by June of 2004; seven hundred thousand by December of 2004; one million, six hundred thousand by June of 2005; three million by December 31st, 2005. There has never been a more determined plan of action. if 3 by 5 fails, as it surely will without the dollars, then there are no excuses left, no rationalizations to hide behind, no murky slanders to justify indifference.
There will only be the mass graves of the betrayed.
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Old 03-03-2004, 02:56 PM   #2
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So now everyone will die of liver failure than "AIDS." Like it or not, that is the leading cause of death of people with HIV in the United States, and is a direct result of these medications.

If only we would put this much time and effort into improving Africa's horrendous sanitation infrastructure, not to mention medications for diseases that we already have vaccines and/or cures for, such as malaria or antibiotics.

While I believe that this campaign is being created with the absolute best of intentions, to blame all of Africa's problems on AIDS--and, thus indirectly, pass the blame onto the individuals, rather than their government or infrastructure--is downright irresponsible.

As we've been taught, Africa is a continent full of AIDS, but, with such a poor infrastructure, how are they able to accurately diagnose all those cases? The fact is that they don't; they are official estimates, and I think that these estimates are more out of convenience than accuracy.

"Millions of lives are at stake," and knowing what we know about all of Africa's problems--malnutrition, open sewage, etc.--the best we can do is to give people AIDS drugs? For perspective's sake, malnutrition can lead to a state of hypercortisolemia, which is an overabundance of the stress hormone, cortisol. The hormone is secreted to preserve the most vital of organs, while it consumes the rest of the body to preserve them. Hypercortisolemia exhibits most of the same symptoms that diagnoses HIV, including muscle wasting, night sweats, and, most importantly, a depressed immune system.

I think, ultimately, that people should start asking questions, and HIV drugs should only be part of the equation.

Melon
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Old 03-03-2004, 04:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Millions of lives are at stake," and knowing what we know about all of Africa's problems--malnutrition, open sewage, etc.--the best we can do is to give people AIDS drugs? For perspective's sake, malnutrition can lead to a state of hypercortisolemia, which is an overabundance of the stress hormone, cortisol. The hormone is secreted to preserve the most vital of organs, while it consumes the rest of the body to preserve them. Hypercortisolemia exhibits most of the same symptoms that diagnoses HIV, including muscle wasting, night sweats, and, most importantly, a depressed immune system.
I'm not sure anyone is blaiming all of Africa's problems on Aids or where that came from .. I would blame it on the failure of humanity.Well Melon I can see that on the surface it seems lik that but. The Global Fund also tackles T.B and Malaria as well as building infrastructure .. Debt and Trade issues are also highlighted .the implications of HIV/AIDS do not stop at the horrible atrocities of death it effects everything afterwards as well. Aids transforms into a bigger problem and I could go on and on , on how it effects things you have mentioned.

it would be great to fix the sanitation and all of that and that is part of fixing the infrastructure that is being undertaken.. builiding wells .. But what is that going to matter when at 7000 lives a day are wiped out by AIDS if it is continued to ignored. Who then will you be fixing the sanitation for.. When you hear about this it is not just providing medicines, it is much more then a band aid solution .

The problem with AIDS is that it sets back all the work you do in the area of development .

So no the best we can do is not simple giving Aids drugs and that is not what is being done, that is the perception people have but that is not the truth.
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