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Brief asides


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POSTED: Friday, November 27, 2009

SHIFT GEARS?

HIV/AIDS likely peaked in 1996, but funding rolls on

The fight against HIV/AIDS has long attracted a disproportionate amount of funding compared to other deadly diseases. Now a report that the global epidemic probably peaked in 1996 and that the infection rate is stable has reignited the debate over whether it's time to shift some funding to other pressing health concerns.

Globally, HIV causes about 4 percent of all deaths, but gets about 23 cents of every public health dollar. While some health experts say a redistribution of resources is long overdue, the report by the World Health Organization and UNAIDS says that “;AIDS continues to be a major public health priority.”;

 

GOOD CALL

Now is not the time to party

Hawaii's state lawmakers have made an akamai decision to skip the opening-day festivities and get right to work when the 2010 Legislature convenes in January. With so many island residents struggling through the tough economy, including the thousands of government workers who have been laid off or furloughed, it would be unseemly for elected officials to celebrate as usual. Symbolism is important, and the state budget crisis demands serious attention from the get-go.