Shocker today at the Boston Globe: an article which noted how effective the Bush administration's AIDS programs have been. Usually, we read things like this, published earlier this week at Lifesite News:
"Canada’s largest city, Toronto, is currently playing host to many of the world’s most influential movers and shakers as the world’s largest international AIDS conference gets underway.....The general flavour of the conference, however, was made abundantly clear during (Bill) Gates’ opening remarks, where the thousands of delegates violently booed one of the rare mentions of abstinence and sexual fidelity as possible solutions to AIDS, and enthusiastically cheered for latex, pharmaceuticals, and increasing acceptance of prostitution and hard drug use."
Par for the course for academics, feminists, leftists, etc. So it was a bit of a marvel indeed to read this in today's Globe, from reporter John Donnelly, former Africa bureau chief:
"Dr. John Idoko (of Nigeria) now treats nearly 6,000 HIV-positive patients. He has expanded his clinic three times in five years, and his waiting room once again is too crowded....The major reason for Idoko's success is the Bush administration's AIDS program, which in the last three years has sent billions of dollars to Africa and helped save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. When I moved to Africa three years ago, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, was just getting off the ground. As I return to Washington this month, the $15 billion program is just hitting its stride, and many Africans believe it has become the single most effective initiative in fighting the deadly scourge....Only you wouldn't know it in America-or Canada, or Europe, for that matter-given the tenor of the AIDS debate in Washington and the nature of the international media coverage."
Donnelly delves into the many criticisms leveled at the Bush administration's AIDS program, including its ABC policy (abstinence, being faithful to one's partner, and failing that, using condoms) and funding faith-based organizations. Never mind that the ABC program is a small part of the overall program to fight and treat AIDS. Secular progessives want nothing to do with notions of abstinence or faithfulness. Steven Lewis, the UN special envoy on AIDS in Africa referred to Bush's push for abstinence programs as "incipient neo-colonialism." Puh-lease! Back on the ground in Africa, there is a different mood:
"In Africa, the kind of polarized debate that dominates Washington policy circles is rarely heard. Among those working on US-funded AIDS programs, there's a sense of energy and optimism and a belief that they are making history. Every week, faith-based and secular groups, encouraged and funded by US AIDS specialists, are finding new ways to treat people, prevent new infections, and care for the ill....Pragmatism rules. Two years ago in the southwestern African nation of Namibia, Lucy Steinitz, a Jewish Brandeis graduate who was then the head of Catholic AIDS Action, told me that US officials sought out faith-based groups because of common sense: Churches were running many of the country's hospitals and clinics already. The same is the case in many African countries."
Hello! This is another example where the Bush administration has implemented an effective program which is showing real successes, but you rarely hear about it. Kudos to John Donnelly and the Globe for this article. Read the whole thing!