Sunday, January 30, 2005

Infants and Aids

Today the NYTIMES heralds new studies that show the near elimination of AIDS transmitted to newborns. The combination of AZT, education, health care - financed by government - has brought this wonder almost to full achievement. Besides being good news, it demonstrates how government action can help people, especially those who are poor or marginalized. This great accomplishment of public health should be saluted and become a model for so many other illnesses in society, including obesity and mental illnesses. I would also suggest that it may serve as a model of abortion reduction. At the same time, it is crucial that we recognize that this good news is very much limited to the US and the first world. AIDS still claims far too many lives unnecessarily in huge segments of the human family, largely due to the pricing of the newer drugs. When...