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CGD Policy Blogs


AIDS Conference Opening Is Uninspiring (Postcard from Vienna)

Not as large or energizing as previous AIDS conferences, the Vienna 2010 jamboree officially kicked off on Sunday night at the Messe Wien Center. Soothing classical music wafted through the auditorium, creating a somewhat surreal setting for a conference that will be characterized by frustration and bitterness about the world's flagging funding commitments to combating AIDS. Protestors gathered their banners and posters and marched through the auditorium shouting: "Broken Promises Kill. No Retreat.

Country Ownership and Rethinking Global Health Partnerships: From Dependence to Symbiosis

I recently had the opportunity to sit in on a meeting between donor and high-level Ministry of Health representatives in an African country. In a white-washed public health center with high ceiling fans whirring the tension-filled air, I witnessed a scenario that sadly demonstrated that country ownership and the process of re-thinking global health partnerships is perhaps a long way off. The donors were irate that some money they had given to a common fund had been misappropriated, and they wanted to pull all of their money out. The ministry officials who had survived the scandal were frustrated. In their view, they had done well to identify and fire the accused--they felt that the ministry should get credit that their system works to catch corrupt officials. Not a new story, but one that got me thinking about how findings from the HIV/AIDS Monitor’s research in Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia could shed some light on the issue of country ownership in the context of new U.S. global health priorities.

Yet Another Inconvenient Truth: AIDS Treatment Is a Costly Way to Save Lives

On reading “Global HIV/AIDS Policy in Transition” in the June 11 issue of Science, I was reminded of Al Gore’s catchwords for global warming (“An Inconvenient Truth”) because the authors – John Bongaarts and CGD Senior Fellow Mead Over – openly confront a very uncomfortable fact: money spent on treating AIDS patients saves far fewer lives than money spent on a wide range of other urgent health interventions.