With so much Nice TimeTM happening in the U.S. recently (Texas badass womyns & mandatory gay marriages) we thought this would be a good time to talk about some Global Nice Time. As President Obama travels to Africa to retrieve his actual birth certificate, there is good news coming from several African countries:

Seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the world's worst-hit region in the global AIDS epidemic, have cut the number of new HIV infections in children by 50 percent since 2009, the United Nations AIDS programme said on Tuesday.

The dramatic reductions - in Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia - mean tens of thousands more babies are now being born free of HIV, UNAIDS said in a report on its Global Plan to tackle the disease in around 20 of the worst affected countries.

Holy shit – 50% reductions in 4 years is REALLY good, people. As the Our Glorious Leader and North Star of Socialism begins his trip through Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa, let’s learn more about how he is personally curing AIDS, making blind men see, and walking across rivers all over that continent!

How is AIDS getting its ass kicked? Per Reuters:

The report said much of the reduction in new HIV cases in children was thanks to more use of AIDS drug treatment for HIV-positive pregnant women. Coverage rates were above 75 percent in many of the priority countries, it said.

AIDS medicines known as antiretroviral therapy not only improve the health of mothers with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS, but can also prevent HIV from being transmitted to their children.

Even if a kid is born with HIV, there are drugs that can help keep it in check. However, coverage rates for those drugs are much much lower. But hooray for more kids living! If they ever move to the U.S., they can even get gay married! Hell, by the time they are old enough, they may even be able to marry a tree or a lifelike robot of either gender.

How has Bamz helped make this happen (other than by bringing world peace through winning the Nobel Peace Prize)? It actually started with that other guy, the one who was in office before Obama.

During a break between starting wars and crashing the global economy, President George W. Bush actually did something that was good, after (Jimmy Carter explains) Jimmy Carter forced him to. He, along with Congress, began the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR. This program spends billions of dollars each year to combat AIDS in priority countries, and has actually been very effective. (For all you international development peeps out there, Yr Wonkette realizes that rigid funding structures, especially around abstinence education, limited the effectiveness of PEPFAR, but come on -- the program has been an overall success, so back off and enjoy the Nice Time, k?) President Obama has continued the program with a few tweaks to make it better. How successful has PEPFAR been, you ask. According to The Global Fund:

U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced [June 18, 2013] that the one-millionth baby will be born HIV-free this month due to PEPFAR-supported prevention of mother-to-child transmission programs.

Hooray! Time for celebrating! That’s pretty damn awesome. But as you know, conservatives believe that when the government does something successfully, it must be stopped immediately (Exhibit one: the Voting Rights Act). In the same vein, Republicans in Congress have been working hard day and night to cut off funding for foreign aid, including drastic cuts for funding to PEPFAR. Oh, they’ll push for funding for weapons to kill those kids, but not the measly part of the budget (less than 1%) that helps save lives. Because “pro-life” refers only to womb-based kids, and then, only womb-based Americans.

But we won't let them ruin our Nice Time, no siree! Hopefully President Obama will make a stop by a clinic or something and give some of these healthy kids a high-five. And rumor has it that later this trip, President Obama will solve global hunger when Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer brings him a basket of fish.

[Reuters/The Global Fund]


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