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08 June 2009



One could argue that treating HIV means less money for treating malaria etc.
But the BBC article is naive. I'll give two examples why:

One: A lot of the docs who are well paid to run HIV clinics would probably emigrate if not given this well paying local job where they can use their talents.

The BBC article notes the clinic without supplies or physicians next door, but fails to ask why there are no supplies, when WHO rehydration fluid costs three cents a quart. (hint:Government corruption probably skimmed off the money for the medicines, and the equipment was probably stolen and sold on the black market).

And paying an infectious disease specialist to give WHO rehydration fluid (which can be done by a village health worker with six months training) is a waste of resources.

Two: A lot of those with HIV include the most educated. Treat malaria, and a farmer lives, but will live as a poor farmer, vulnerable to disease and starvation.

Treat HIV, and you save the life of a teacher or nurse or businessman who might actually help the farmer escape poverty.

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