Money for AIDS: What Do You Think?

APRIL 2007 • Issue 4

Think U.S. taxpayers spend too much on global AIDS compared to the domestic epidemic? What if we could spend a lot more on both?

The National Priorities Project keeps a running total of the Cost of War in Iraq, which at press time had hit almost $417 billion, based on Congressional appropriations. Divided between the war’s four years, that’s more than $100 billion per year. Total U.S. spending on HIV/AIDS in 2006 was $21.1 billion, which breaks down to $3.2 billion for low- and middle-income countries, and $17.9 billion for U.S. programs.1

Whether you support the war in Iraq or you’re one of the two-thirds of Americans who oppose it, these numbers may suggest that more money can be found to fight the pandemic. Let’s think even more ambitiously…

Solidarity Project Poll:

Do you think the AIDS pandemic could effectively be ended with $417 billion?

Here are some global stats to work with:

• Six million people need antiretrovirals immediately, but only 12% are getting them. 2
• A year’s worth of generic medications for someone just starting treatment costs $200. 3
• 2.9 million people died of AIDS in 2006. 4
• Less than 20% of people at risk for HIV worldwide have access to prevention services. 5
• $18.1 billion a year would provide comprehensive prevention, care, and treatment for all. 6

Get out your calculators, consider the future treatment needs of people getting HIV now, second-line therapy for people whose HIV develops resistance to their first regimen, and the possibility of new infection rates actually going down… Then crunch the numbers and reply to us at We’ll include some of the most interesting responses in future issues of Solidarity Project.

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Filed under disaster capitalism, economic justice, imperialism/colonialism, Solidarity Project, Uncategorized, war

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