News From the AIDS Conference
"Conference or Care?"
That's the choice as Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) sees it, and he says the Bush administration has picked the International AIDS Conference over HIV prevention and treatment.
In a release from Washington, Coburn castigated the administration for sending 100-plus officials to the conference in Mexico City this week at a cost of about $470,000.
According to Coburn's calculations, the same amount of money would cover a year's worth of medication for the 53 people on the waiting list for the government's AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). Or it could pay for drugs that prevent mother-to-child transmission in more than 59,000 infants, he said.
The U.S. delegation, which includes physicians, scientists and bureaucrats from a half dozen agencies, is "wasteful and extravagant," Coburn complained in a statement. "No one will die from not being able to attend a conference, but the same is not true for those who are living with HIV/AIDS and cannot access treatment."
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services said the government contingent this year is comparable to the delegation which attended the Toronto conference two years ago and one third the size of the group that went to Bangkok in 2004.
--by Ceci Connolly
Posted by: pogoo | August 6, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse
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