Thursday, September 27, 2007

Elton slams US over AIDS

Elton John Slams George Bush Over AIDS

Elton John has attacked the U.S. Government's AIDS effort, dubbing it a waste of time and money. The campaigning rocker - and head of the Elton John Aids Foundation - is astounded George W. Bush's regime has concentrated all its efforts promoting abstinence, rather than developing treatments.

Speaking at his Aids gala in New York on Wednesday, John says, "They've made a grave error in giving millions to abstinence programs. They don't work. They were told in the beginning that it wouldn't work. It's a tragic waste of money. Please don't listen to those idiots. God almighty."

The Rocket Man also took the opportunity to hit out at South African President Thabo Mbeki, who claims garlic, beetroots, lemon and olive oil are more effective in fighting Aids than antiretroviral medicines.

He tells the New York Daily News, "There are some weird people in the world - what can I say? I would just tell them, 'Don't let the AIDS crisis get lost.'"

God forbid people suggest one way to protect yourself from exposure to AIDS is to refrain from sexual activity!
And what about the US commitment to fighting AIDS;
2008 AIDS Relief Budget Request Tops Original Commitment

United States remains global leader in fight against AIDS, official says

By Cheryl Pellerin
USINFO Staff Writer

Washington – President Bush has asked the U.S. Congress to approve $5.4 billion for his President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) for fiscal year 2008 (2008-2009), the last year of the five-year effort to fight HIV/AIDS around the world.

If that funding is approved, the PEPFAR program – the largest commitment by a single nation to an international health initiative – would be on track to exceed the original $15 billion pledge and bring to $18.3 billion the amount of money the United States has invested in the fight against AIDS.

“By working with host nations to build quality health care networks and increase capacity,” U.S. global AIDS coordinator Ambassador Mark Dybul testified March 1 before the House Committee on Appropriations subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, “we are laying the foundation for nations and communities to sustain their efforts against HIV/AIDS and other diseases long after the initial five years of the Emergency Plan.”

The HIV/AIDS pandemic has killed at least 20 million of the more than 60 million people it has infected so far, leaving 14 million orphans worldwide. On the continent of Africa, nearly 30 million people have the AIDS virus – including 3 million children under age 15, according to the White House.

Bush announced the PEPFAR program in 2003 to support treatment for 2 million HIV-infected people, help prevent 7 million new infections and help care for 10 million people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS by 2008 in 15 focus countries – Botswana, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia. (See related fact sheet.)

It seems no matter what the US does its never good enough for some group or individual;

US to spend extra $30bn to fight HIV/Aids, pledges Bush

· Washington becomes campaign's biggest backer
· Critics praise president's commitment to fight

Ewen MacAskill in Washington
Thursday May 31, 2007
The Guardian

The following correction was printed in the Guardian's Corrections and clarifications column, Friday June 1 2007

Terri Bartlett of Population Action International was quoted in the article below as hoping the move offered an opportunity to make the programme "more effective by correcting policies based on evidence, not ideology". This could be misinterpreted. What she said was " ... correcting policies on the basis of evidence, not ideology". This has been corrected.

Article continues
George Bush announced yesterday that the US plans to spend $30bn (£15bn) over five years in Africa and elsewhere to combat HIV/Aids.

This would make the US by far the biggest single donor to the campaign against HIV/Aids and is in addition to the $15bn Washington has been spending since 2003. Parts of Mr Bush's policy are opposed by international health organisations, academics, women's groups, European governments and even the administration's financial watchdog. In line with domestic Christian right orthodoxy, a significant proportion of the funds are channelled to religious groups advocating abstinence until marriage and refusing to distribute condoms, an approach regarded as counter-productive and costing lives.