Keep Up the Fight on AIDS – A Letter to the Editor of The New York Times

Re "In Global Battle on AIDS, Bush Creates Legacy” (front page, Jan. 5):

President Bush has shown great compassion and leadership in founding the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or Pepfar. When historians look back at his administration, they will see that he saved at least a million lives.

But we must keep pace with this pandemic. To do so will require a greater investment than before — $50 billion or more over five years. Programs initiated under Pepfar have shown great success in treating and preventing H.I.V.-AIDS.

But for these efforts to be sustainable, additional funds need to be spent that address severe health worker shortages and strengthen fragile health systems, to integrate H.I.V.-AIDS care with other health services, and to tailor H.I.V. prevention to the most vulnerable groups, including women, children and injection drug users.

We know that Pepfar has saved innumerable lives. Let's give it the chance to save millions more.

~ Eric P. Goosby

San Francisco, Jan. 8, 2008

The writer is the chief medical officer, Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation, and adviser to the Health Action AIDS Campaign, Physicians for Human Rights.

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