News and Analysis: AIDS in Africa
President Obama’s recent trip to Ghana, his first trip to Africa as president, drew a considerable amount of attention. As President Obama’s father was from Kenya, his first trip to the continent and his speech were highly anticipated.
In the 26th year of the HIV/AIDS crisis, the profit system has only exacerbated the epidemic. An estimated 33 million people currently are infected with HIV—2.5 million are children born to infected mothers.
Once again, George W. Bush and the Group of Eight have unveiled proposals to fund the global fight against AIDS. Once again, these proposals prioritize profit over human health. The major capitalist powers frequently declare their intent to take on AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria—for which they receive effusive praise in the corporate press—but their concrete proposals are woefully meager.
Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day, a day focused on remembering the tens of millions of people who have died from AIDS worldwide and the more than 40 million currently infected, many in oppressed countries. AIDS care and prevention programs are still underfunded or nonexistent in many countries.
On Aug. 18, the 16th International AIDS Conference came to a close in Toronto, Canada. Over 30,000 scientists, activists and HIV/AIDS agency representatives attended from 132 countries. The conference was organized by the International AIDS Society and local Toronto groups that work on the issue.
In December 2004, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS issued its annual update on the global AIDS epidemic. The report describes the terrible impact the disease has had on oppressed countries throughout the world.