“Too Much Money for AIDS”

In poor African countries like Lesotho, “H.I.V.-infected children are offered exemplary treatment, while children suffering from much simpler-to-treat diseases are left untreated, sometimes to die,” notes an AIDS researcher quoted in a post at Reason entitled “Too Much Money for AIDS.”

So much foreign aid money is being spent on AIDS that countries like Botswana can’t handle it all. But diseases that wealthy Westerners don’t suffer from (and thus can’t relate to), like deadly forms of diarrhea, receive much less Western aid.

Meanwhile, AIDS rates in Zimbabwe are falling, even though that country’s economy and health care system are collapsing. That’s because the decline in its economy and reduction in foreign aid to that country has left men there too poor to afford having more than one partner at a time, thus reducing the spread of AIDS.

AIDS rates remain stubbornly high, however, in neighboring Botswana, a much more prosperous country which possesses diamonds and minerals and receives plenty of foreign aid. It is common for men there to have several mistresses. Child death rates increased recently as a result of a Western-funded anti-AIDS program, which urged mothers to feed their infants formula rather than breast milk. The program did little to reduce the spread of AIDS, but caused many infants to die of diarrhea, pneumonia, and other ailments as a result of the water added to the formula (owing to the country’s unreliable water quality).