Bush Discusses AIDS With Thai Prime Minister, Ugandan President
President Bush yesterday held private meetings with the leaders of Thailand and Uganda to discuss the AIDS epidemic and other issues, the AP/Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports. Bush in the morning met with Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to discuss U.S.-Thai cooperation on infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS (AP/Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 6/11). Bush then met with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, praising him for his efforts in the fight against AIDS (Agence France-Presse, 6/10). "Mr. President, you have shown extraordinary leadership on a lot of issues, but the one that's really captured the imagination and the hearts of the American people is your extraordinary leadership on HIV/AIDS in your country," Bush said. The White House used the meeting with Museveni to showcase the five-year, $15 billion international AIDS bill that Bush recently signed, which is a "central part" of the president's foreign policy agenda, according to the New York Times. Bush cited Uganda's AIDS program as a model for the bill. According to officials, the program's success served as an "inspiration" to Bush and helped persuade him that money to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa could be well spent, the Times reports (Bumiller, New York Times, 6/11). Following the talks, the Watoto Children's Choir of Uganda, a group of AIDS orphans who perform to raise money to house other AIDS orphans, sang and danced in the White House Rose Garden (AP/Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 6/11). Bush is scheduled to travel to Africa next month, although it is not clear whether he will stop in Uganda (New York Times, 6/11). While no formal announcements have been made, Bush is expected to visit Senegal, Nigeria and South Africa (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/10). More information on HIV/AIDS in Uganda is available online as part of kaisernetwork.org's Issue Spotlight on HIV/AIDS.This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.