African, U.S. Leaders Sign ‘Principles of Collaboration’ on AIDS
A group of leaders from the U.S. pharmaceutical industry and academia, diplomats from 24 African nations and U.S. policy advisers this week "unanimously approved" a document that "calls on African countries to survey their needs and establish their AIDS priorities, with particular emphasis on ... intervention ... and ... treatment," Reuters Health reports. Called "Principles of Collaboration: When Confronting AIDS in Africa," the document is intended to "counter the AIDS African epidemic" by establishing a "foundation for an alliance" between Africa and the United States. The two-day summit was organized by the Harvard AIDS Institute, which stressed the need for immediate U.S. intervention in the AIDS situation in Africa. But HAI Executive Director Dr. Richard Marlink said, "Americans are guests in this fight. The Africans need to be in charge and their priorities must be at the forefront. We must all be ready to enter a long-term collaborative and committed initiative that benefits the public health of Africans as a whole." HAI Chairperson Dr. Max Essex said, "We need a new awareness within the U.S. More of our resources and dollars should be directed to the needs of these developing nations who carry a disproportionate burden of this disease." According to Botswana President Festus Mogae, "Different countries in Africa are at different levels of preparedness. We are ready now in my country. Our people are dying now and need this help." Representatives from Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe attended the summit. While sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 10% of the world's population, about 70% of HIV/AIDS infections and 90% of HIV-related deaths occur in the region (Clark, Reuters Health, 11/16).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.