The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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We need to do more to help stop AIDS


Dec. 1 was World AIDS Day. It reminds us of the daunting number of people who are infected with HIV/AIDS: 40 million.

It reminds us of the deplorable number of people who have died from AIDS worldwide: 20 million.

These numbers are difficult to comprehend, and many times we are left feeling overwhelmed and helpless. What can I do?

But there are solutions. In 2002, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria was established to defeat these diseases that together kill 6 million people a year. The GFATM is a public-private partnership, which, in only three years, has funded 350 grants to health projects around the world.

It is projected that in 2007, 1.8 million HIV/AIDS patients will be reached with antiretroviral medicines. This is six-fold the amount of people that are being reached today. Our government has pledged to donate a third of the needed budget to fund these lifesaving health projects-but we are falling short of our promise.

I urge our Utah delegation and the Congress to fully fund the GFATM. This is not only a moral question, but it is also a question of economic prosperity. A healthy global population begets a healthy global economy.

We have a great responsibility and a great opportunity before us. But millions of people will die if we refuse to act.

Leah Vinton

Senior, Political Science/Spanish

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