If Fauci’s “victory” over AIDS is the reason he can proclaim himself the embodiment of “science”, then the time has come for a hard assessment of the realities of that victory and his role in the response.
I am old enough to remember the first significant infectious disease scare of my lifetime: the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
As the media presses the “expertise” of the bloviating godlet, Dr. Anthony Fauci [Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Chief Medical Advisor to Biden], it’s good to remember that he launched his bureaucratic empire in response to this pathogen.
He has been director of the NIAID since 1984 and made contributions to HIV/AIDS research and other immunodeficiency diseases, both as a research scientist and as the head of the NIAID. From 1983 to 2002, Fauci was one of the world’s most frequently-cited scientists across all scientific journals.In 2008, President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, for his work on the AIDS relief program PEPFAR.
Given the supposed success of his efforts, it is perhaps useful to look at the status of HIV infection today. Lo and behold, a new report reveals that Black and Latino/Hispanic gay men still experienced high rates of HIV infection over a nine-year period, despite supposed medical advances.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed HIV data in a report called Vital Signs to understand trends in new infections, treatment options and HIV-related stigma. The results found that there was an overall decrease in the number of reported HIV cases from 2010 to 2019, but that decrease was driven mostly by white, gay men. Black and Hispanic gay men did not experience a similar rate of decline.
CDC director Rochelle Walensky discussed the new report during a Tuesday press briefing and reiterated how the results indicated a bleak reality in healthcare inequity.
“The first CDC report showing [this] disease was disproportionately affecting Black and Hispanic/Latino people was published in 1986. Today’s Vital Signs confirms that unfortunately, those disparities continue today,” said Walensky, according to Stat News.
It is also good to keep in mind that NAIAD directs a lot of the funding and grants involved in the continuing, if not successful, battle against the spread of HIV.
Federal funding for HIV has increased significantly over the course of the epidemic, rising from just a few hundred thousand in FY 1982 to more than $34.8 billion in FY 2019, for combined domestic and global efforts. This growth has been driven primarily by increased spending on mandatory domestic care and treatment programs (largely through Medicaid and Medicare), as more people are living with HIV in the United States, as well as by greater investments to combat HIV in low and middle-income countries.
As we enter into the second year of the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, perhaps it is time to start questioning how successful the efforts over the past 40 years have been in containing HIV and if resources could have been better used.
And if Fauci’s “victory” over AIDS is the reason he can proclaim himself the embodiment of “science”, then the time has come for a hard assessment of the realities of that victory and his role in the response.DONATE
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