How Did You Celebrate World AIDS Day? (Buttsechs)
Happy World AIDS Day (a day late, because drunk)!! Have you celebrated? How, exactly, does one celebrate the 25th annual World AIDS Day? We bought our Editrix a 10-pack of female condoms, because safe sexytimes are good sexytimes.
The United States, on the other hand, celebrates by spending billions each year around the globe fighting AIDS. Hooray us, because fighting AIDS is a good thing. The fight against global AIDS started in earnest with President GWB, with a generous assist from President Carter, when he set up the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR. Back in 2003, Congress was willing to fund the hell out of it because that was when the GOP was spending money like a drunken
sailor Rick Santorum in a whorehouse petting zoo, because Republican President. Now that the GOP is all focused on debt & deficit (i.e., Dem Prezzy), monies are tight for foreign aid. What’s a President to do? Let’s safe-sexplore.
Despite his awesome paintings, we can all agree that Bush was a terrible president. However, he did push Congress to spend about $15 billion fighting AIDS, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, which is kinda awesome. Even before New Pope, Bush convinced Christians all over the country that increasing American foreign aid to help poor folks with AIDS was a good thing. That fad quickly passed, and now the right wing is back to hating on gays and restricting voting rights, just like the good lord intended.
When Bamz came into office, many were excited because surely the Kenyan Great Sun of Socialism would totes get behind this anti-AIDS effort. Boy were they disappointed, according to USA Today:
[S]ince 2010, funding for PEPFAR has fallen 12%, putting the program at its lowest funding level since 2007, and the Obama administration has floated another $50 million cut in 2014.
Fuck the what?!? How come this generation’s Rosa Parks is all ‘Africa can suck it and die of AIDS for all I care’? Does Bamz really want to allow AIDS to flourish? Why is the world all upside-down?
He even has Republicans -- REPUBLICANS -- calling for him to do more:
In a letter, the lawmakers -- led by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee of California -- made the case to Obama that "scaling up" to a goal of treating 12 million through PEPFAR "will not only save millions of lives but will also significantly reduce human suffering, new HIV infections, and healthcare costs in the years to come."
First of all, Congress has drastically cut all spending, including the massive ONE PERCENT OF THE BUDGET that the United States spends on foreign aid. And with sequestration, that funding has been slashed even further. It’s not like Bamz has a lot of wiggle room here. So a hypocritical FUCK YOU to Coburn, who wants to be all virtuous on this issue yet still butcher federal funding on other important issues.
Second, this administration has focused on broader integration of global health programs, mainly through the Global Health Initiative. Part of this initiative is to build more health clinics in developing countries to increase access to all health services, not just AIDS. Because what good are AIDS medications without clean water and proper nutrition? It’s like fucking a blow-up doll and hoping for a baby unicorn.
Also, too, AIDS drugs are cheaper than they used to be, and with a focus on coordination, integration, and efficiency, maybe the Obama administration is just administerating the program better. When he was touring
his homeland Africa earlier this year, Obama said:
"We are serving four times the number of people today than we were when PEPFAR first began, but because we've gotten better at it and more efficient at it, we're doing it at reduced costs," Obama said.
Not to be total shills for Bamz, because the integration and efficiency isn’t totally there. But as an approach, we definitely support a broader, holistic view of access to basic health services rather than a focus on one disease.
Before she left to plot how to become our first female President, Secretary of State Hilz gave a speech on a blueprint for an “AIDS-free generation.” On the day after the 25th World AIDS Day, we here at Wonket look forward to that happening. And by ‘that,’ we clearly mean Hillary becoming President.