The United States is in debt beyond any figures in history. The entire country needs a bail-out of one sort or another, unemployment benefits are being restricted or cut-off and unemployment numbers are continuing to rise. In the midst of all this turmoil, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is asking President Obama for $6 billion over the next three years.
As a member of the One.org email list, I receive many notices and requests to sign petitions. Recently, a petition hit my email box asking me to sign up to support a $6 billion commitment from the United States, particularly President Obama, to fund research and support on behalf of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. After researching the fund, I found many reasons to sign the petition and at least one reason not to sign.
Pulling the Heart Strings to Gain Support
For me, the brass facts are enough to earn my support, but the email I received offered more than statistics and information on what the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria does in the community – it revealed a personal story about HIV, AIDS and babies.
According to the email, the Global Fund provides medications, screening and prenatal care for mothers who have HIV in Africa. These mothers are treated to prevent the spread of HIV to infants before and during birth. There has been a lot of medical information published as of late regarding the importance of proper treatment and testing for HIV positive mothers giving birth. With this treatment, babies can be born healthy and HIV free.
Where Does the Money Go?
The story was enough to add an emotional side to a very political agenda. News reports have noted a California Congresswoman seeking the same money for the Global Fund after a trip to the International AIDS conference. What’s interesting is an article published on Foreign Policy claims China received $149 million in aid from the same Global Fund for malaria but only reported 38 deaths due to malaria. The Democratic Republic of Congo, however, reported 25,000 deaths and only received $122 million from the Global Fund.
I have no idea where the battle for $6 billion in funding is going to end up, but there are clearly some political processes behind the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria that need to be considered before President Obama and petitioners fall for the emotional stories and mental propaganda.