Some Good News For Once

Bet you won’t see too much of this on the evening news:

Infections with the AIDS virus have plummeted more than 50 percent among children and by a third among adults since 2001, the United Nations reports Monday in a welcome bit of good news about the pandemic.

Deaths from the fatal and incurable virus have fallen 30 percent since 2005 thanks to drugs that can help keep patients healthy, the U.N. agency UNAIDS said.

The U.N. and other health agencies now advocate quick use of pills to help keep the virus under control. Not only can they keep patients from getting sick, but they lower the risk that an infected person will infect someone else.

It works especially well in protecting newborns when their mothers are infected.

This is good news, so obviously it has to be ignored by our bad-news obsessed society. I remember in the 1980’s when hysterics were claimed that AIDS was going to be a gigantic global pandemic that would kill billions. That’s not happening because of scientific achievement and enormous generosity from wealthy countries.

Yeah, about that generosity … another reason this won’t be reported? A big contributor to the decline of AIDS was George W. Bush’s PEPFAR. I’ve had some criticisms of PEPFAR, especially its emphasis on abstinence and its anti-prostitution pledge. But when a program is conservatively estimated to have saved over a million lives and millions of new AIDS infections, you have to give credit where it’s due.