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Last week's Onion analyzed the breakdown of President Bush's request to double PEPFAR funding to $30 billion:

  • $10 billion: Programs to get people off AIDS and back to work
  • $30 million: Equipping future Black Hawks with crates of pamphlets and condoms, so next time won't be a total loss
  • $1.5 billion: Installing particularly vicious anti-AIDS dictator in Uganda
  • $17 million: Global campaign to promote dry humping
  • $1,137.62: AIDS-vaccine research
  • $8.2 billion: Guns to shoot AIDS with
  • $15 billion: Faith-based initiatives
  • $.41: Strongly worded letter to AIDS
  • $14.80: Nameplate for AIDS czar

Unfortunately, the satirical newspaper actually overestimated the amount of PEPFAR funds that would go towards an AIDS vaccine. The current grand total? $0. In fact, a recent recommendation from the outgoing Director of Foreign Assistance would reportedly cut USAID support for the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative entirely - down from $29m in FY07 - as well as for many other critical research efforts to develop vaccines, drugs and microbicides for developing country diseases. Now that's no laughing matter.

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.