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Also In Global Health News: U.S. Aid To Philippines, Swaziland, Guyana; Uganda Bills; Botswana HIV/AIDS

U.S. To Give Philippines $10M In Food Aid, Ambassador Says

U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney said the U.S. will give the country an additional $10 million worth of food aid for people affect by the recent typhoons, the Manila Bulletin reports. This brings “the total amount of its disaster relief and recovery assistance to US$30 million” (Sabater, 12/3).

U.S. Ambassador To Swaziland Discusses U.S. Commitment To HIV/AIDS

U.S. Ambassador to Swaziland Earl Irving on Tuesday emphasized the U.S. commitment to helping the country tackle HIV/AIDS, the Swaziland Observer reports. In recent years, Earl said PEPFAR has increased its commitment to Swaziland – money he noted, which will “support efforts to reduce the effects of HIV and AIDS and build the health infrastructure of Swaziland” (12/3).

Kaieteurnewsonline Examines Continued Partnership Between U.S., Guyana On HIV/AIDS

Kaieteurnewsonline examines the partnership between the U.S. and Guyana in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Karen Williams, chargé d’affaires to the U.S. Embassy, in a statement Monday, wrote, “‘Over the next five years, the U.S. will place a renewed emphasis on partnering with Guyana to build Guyana’s national HIV/AIDS response.’ She noted too that ‘we (the U.S.) will continue to work together with all sectors of Guyana as they craft strategies and programs to combat HIV/AIDS, and we will support the government of Guyana as it engages international partners, civil society and non-governmental organisations'” (12/2). 

News Outlets Examine Uganda’s Proposed HIV Prevention and Control, Anti-Homosexuality Bills

U.N. Special Envoy on AIDS in Africa Elizabeth Mataka on Wednesday appealed to the Ugandan government to reconsider the proposed HIV Prevention and Control Bill (2008), “saying it could fuel the spread of the virus,” the Daily Monitor reports (Lirri/Nalugo, 12/3). “I emphasise the importance of creating a bigger and social environment conducive for HIV prevention and to refrain from laws that criminalise the transmission of HIV and stigmatise certain groups in the population. These laws can only fuel the epidemic further and undermine an effective response to HIV,” Mataka said, PlusNews reports (12/3). In related news, the Mail & Guardian examines the ongoing debate over Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill (2009) (12/2).

Botswana Gazette Examines How Failed Global Fund Proposal Could Affect HIV/AIDS Programs

The Botswana Gazette looks at how the country’s failure to secure new funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria could affect Botswana’s HIV/AIDS programs. “The new programs are going to suffer to the extent that where we were going to scale up, there will be gaps. Our priority is prevention, curtailing new infections, treatment activities and revised eligibility connection to be enrolled for ARV program,” according to National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA) Program Planning Manager, Monica Tselayakgosi. She said although the Global Fund said the proposal was sound, funding was rejected because “in some areas it lacked justification.” According to the newspaper, “Botswana will have to look elsewhere for money to continue the affected programs” (Ontebetse, 12/1).

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