Bono still thinks it’s everyone elses fault

AIDS Red RibbonThe essence of this news story by Reuters is that Bono still thinks that the richest countries around the world aren’t doing their part in the search for the cure of AIDS. Bono thinks that these countries (the United States, Japan, Canada, Britain, Germany, Italy, Russia and France) still have a long way to go in terms of their due responsibility of aid to Africa’s poor.

My turn. I think that Bono needs to stop flapping his mouth. It seems like nothing he says is constructive, and if he does try to throw in some original ideas, they are either unfeasible or plain ignorant. Eradicating HIV/AIDS is an ambition goal that hopefully will one day be overcome, but diseases that are based so much on human behaviors can’t be cured simply by an injection or treatment. As long as stigmas like the idea that a man infected with AIDS can be cured by having sex with a virgin are in existence, these diseases will continue to spread.

Being a dedicated Digg user, here are some comments of the story on Digg that give other insight:

I’d rather see more funding for cancer. If you look at the major sources of HIV, contracting AIDS is much more related to behavior than cancer is. Many more people die per year from cancer than AIDS. Rather than correct the problem through expensive drug cocktails, why don’t we focus on stopping the problem before it spreads?

You don’t get cancer from having sex with a cancer-infected person. You don’t get cancer from a blood transfusion. You don’t get cancer because your mother had cancer when you were born. I’m all for personal privacy, but when it comes to a matter of affecting the lift and death of many other people, the world as a whole needs to recognize that AIDS is preventable. Screening should be mandatory; it needs to be a part of our medical records. The information can be private yet readily available for those concerned. I’m all for “feeding the poor”, but I’d rather give them the knowledge and resources to start farming than to continually dump funding into the problem. –bmartin

1) AIDS – Give them condoms. Airdrop them from planes if you have to.

2) Malaria – use DDT in small quantities. It is effective at keeping mosquitoes away for months.
USAID has just approved funding for its use again recently.

3) Help African countries establish and respect rules for property rights. Defining property helps an economy grow. E.g., Zimbabwe – when Mugabe’s land reforms took away land from aristocratic white farmers, food shortages started killing people when the Africans didn’t have the skills, machinery, capital to continue producing at the same levels. Not supporting post-colony landowners here, but saying that rules need to be defined, thought out and a country must be stable in order to encourage the long term growth that is the only real solution to ending poverty.

4) Tell Bono that blindly giving money to African governments has gotten us nowhere for the past 15+ years now. Unfortunately all too many countries are ruled by a “Kleptocracy” where those in power take as much as they can in aid money and little reaches those in need. This is why we attach stipulations to giving and the process is slow, because there must be oversight. –ask03

I do not necessarily agree with these comments, but my views are fairly close to these. I thought that they were interesting, I hope you did as well.

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