Op-Eds: HIV Travel Ban; Improving Sanitation; Counterfeit Drugs

‘Blot’ On U.S. HIV/AIDS Leadership Removed 

A “blot” on U.S. HIV/AIDS leadership “ended last month when President [Barack] Obama lifted the prohibition” that kept HIV-positive foreigners from visiting the U.S. or seeking residency, according to a Washington Post editorial. “The process for eliminating the travel ban started under President George W. Bush in July 2008, when he signed legislation that repealed the original statute.” 

“This punitive policy took effect when AIDS was little understood. Today we know that HIV is not spread through casual contact and that infection is preventable,” according to the editorial, which adds that “[t]he new regulation ends mandatory testing for immigration and visitation and will officially start on Jan. 4” (11/19).

Time To ‘Build Momentum And Push Sanitation’

Margaret Batty, policy and campaigns director of WaterAid, marks World Toilet Day and global efforts to improve sanitation in a guardian.co.uk opinion piece. “Existing evidence suggests poor sanitation may be linked to the deaths of more than 2 million children annually causing more child deaths than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined,” Batty writes. 

“With the first ever High Level Meeting on Water and Sanitation taking place in Washington next April, the G8 meeting in Canada, and the U.N. Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Review in September, there is a real opportunity over the coming months to build momentum and push sanitation up the agenda. Based on current trends, the MDG target – to halve the proportion of people without access to adequate sanitation by 2015 – will not be met until 2108 in sub-Saharan Africa, about a hundred years too late. In the face of this terrible lack of progress, leaders must use these high-level meetings to deliver binding commitments matched with concrete action plans. Without this action on sanitation, gains in other development sectors – such as in health and education – stand to be undermined,” she concludes (11/19).

VOA News Editorial Examines New USAID Program To Reduce Counterfeit Medicine

A VOA News editorial examines the decision by USAID to launch the Promoting the Quality of Medicines (PQM) Program “to combat [the global] menace” of counterfeit medicines. Drawing from comments by USAID Acting Assistant Administrator for Global Health, Gloria Steele, who said, “Substandard and counterfeit medicines represent a threat to public health worldwide but pose a particular problem in developing countries, where lack of financial, technical and other resources make it difficult to protect the drug supply chains,” the editorial outlines the plans for the program. “Without good quality, safe medicines to treat such diseases as malaria and tuberculosis, the impact of other health initiatives is severely weakened if not negated completely,” Steele said, according to the editorial (11/18).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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