In The Battle Against HIV, Funding Is Everything

President Obama’s announcement that he is seeking additional federal monies for programs that prevent and treat HIV/AIDS comes at a critical time in the battle against the disease. In Ghana, a country that has witnessed relative success in recent years, officials had set as a goal providing treatment for at least 75% of those who needed it by 2015. It is an ambitious goal, and one directly tied to international support.

According to Dr. Angela El-Adas, the Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, the anticipated loss of funding as a result of previous cut-backs has put in question Ghana’s goal of producing a generation without HIV/AIDS. “While the cuts were hard and felt premature, they were not totally unsurprising.” According to Dr. El-Adas, Ghana believes it can still make that goal, though she acknowledges that without sufficient funding, even the most modest of proposals would be set up to fail.

Since The Ghana AIDS Commission was anticipating a loss of some funding they were already making efforts to try and come up with additional private/public partnerships as a means of bridging that funding gap. With any luck, the announcement from the Obama administration will make that job a bit easier.

To reach that goal, from a public policy perspective, requires the Ghana AIDS Project prioritize funding and elimination efforts. That has made the elimination of mother to child viral transmission it’s top priority. Not only does it immediately address future generations, it is an element of HIV/AIDS policy that is politically palpable in a generally conservative culture and political climate.

What will be tricker is how the Commission will continue, let alone expand, those programs that reach more “difficult” populations politically, including female sex workers and gay men. Both prostitution and homosexuality are against the law in Ghana, which means sustaining a politically viable public health policy targeting those populations may be next to impossible when there are artificially limited resources. With any luck, today’s announcement by the Obama administration will help change that.

Care2 blogger Jessica Pieklo is reporting from Ghana as a guest of The Global Fund to help bring attention to efforts to eradicate malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. You can read more of Care2.comís coverage here.

Photo © The Global Fund / Nana Kofi Acquah

15 comments

Paul Z.
Paul Zio4 years ago

In Massachusetts the 2012 budget includes $81M dollars of state tax dollars. Plus Where will it end

Paul Z.
Paul Zio4 years ago

Just keep incouraging children to join the lifestyle with the encouragement of the GSA clubs in our taxpayer funded schools and watch the number of HIV/AIDS cases increase in our next generation.
How stupid are the Americcan people?

Deanna J.
Deanna J5 years ago

@ Gene W.

I'd be a lot angrier at your comment...if it didn't remind me so much of what my Dad would say. Sometimes intelligent folks just need a bit of information.

So let me inform you. HIV/AIDS is not only present in gay men, or because of gay men.

I'd give you a whole big rant, but you seem like a person who likes things condensed. In short: It's not the gender/orientation of those "doing it". It's whether or not they were educated enough about sex (which due to the Bush administration's Abstinence-only agenda, is less common among people around my age) to know to use a condom.

Gene W.
Gene W5 years ago

Maybe, just maybe if these gays would quit doing one another without protection this problem would disappear.

june t.
june t5 years ago

trouble is, other diseases need funding too - only so much to go around (unless there is a war, then lots of money for that)

LLOYD H.
Lloyd H5 years ago

Funding is not everything. Funding with road blocks made of religious ideology and political ignorance is the same as no funding. The Gag rule as far as I know is still in effect, the Roman Catholic Church still bans the use of condoms, men in Africa still think that sex, voluntary or not, with a virgin will cure them of HIV/AIDS. The Christian Taliban of America still fights for abstinence only sex education not reality based sex ed where the disease transmission and prevention are taught or even mentioned. All the money in the world can not cure intentional stupidity.

Linda T.
Linda T5 years ago

Funding is everything but what does it say about our society that we don't make sure that victims of this desease are getting the health care they need to live with all the other health issues this desease causes. Shame on us.

Beth we don't even have good education in this country to prevent HIV/AIDS. And we have many in this country walking around with the desease that are unaware because we don't do enough preventative testing.

Beth P.
Beth P5 years ago

Maybe for Christmas, people could consider spending a little less and instead donating to NGOs working to provide contraceptives and education in countries struggling to prevent HIV and AIDS.

Debbie W.
Past Member 5 years ago

Funding is everything ... about everything, including bought and paid-for elections. What does this say about our compassionless society and those that power it. Shame.

Maurice Simoens
Maurice Simoens5 years ago

we must fight against aids and give medicare