Decisions in the City can mean death for people with HIV


by Guest    
6:21 pm - December 1st 2012

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by Anna Nolan

Right now almost seven million people living with HIV are at risk because of a lack of funding to pay for their treatment.

Millions of people living with HIV – including an estimated 1.4 million children – are missing out on life-saving drugs because of a massive shortfall of more than £1 billion from rich countries to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. And as rich countries cut their budgets this gap could widen.

For World Aids Day 2012 Bill Nighy visited Malawi to find out how decisions made on the trading floors of the City of London and Wall Street have meant life or death for millions of the world’s poorest people living with HIV.

Malawi is one of the world’s poorest countries with 12% of the population living with HIV. Because of money from the Global Fund Malawi has been able to put 350,000 people on treatment , and infection rates are down 72% since 2004. However, 650,000 are still going without treatment.

This is despite the fact it costs just 23 pence a day to keep someone with the HIV virus alive by giving them treatment with ARVs. Malawi faces a huge challenge with sustaining free HIV treatment for its poor infected population as the Global Fund lacks enough resources to commit to the country.

Should no resources be found by June 2014, Malawi will not be able to continue providing the HIV treatment to its population.

A Robin Hood tax could raise hundreds of billions, money from which could be used to make sure the next generation is Aids free.

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Reader comments


1. Churm Rincewind

Fine, but we don’t need a “Robin Hood Tax” (by which I assue you mean the proposed Financial Transactions Tax) in order to address the problem of Aids. Governments worldwide already have billions (no trillions) of pounds of revenues at their disposal which they could divert to such a campaign. As you say, they choose not to, but prefer to use their tax revenues for other purposes.

In the meantime, the proposed Financial Transactions Tax will specifically not be ringfenced for pro-social expenditure. It’s just another tax.

2. So Much for Subtlety

For World Aids Day 2012 Bill Nighy visited Malawi to find out how decisions made on the trading floors of the City of London and Wall Street have meant life or death for millions of the world’s poorest people living with HIV.

For the life of me I can’t find what the link between these two is. Certainly not in this article. The people on those trading floors make us rich so we can pay for such foibles. I suppose. No other.

Malawi is one of the world’s poorest countries with 12% of the population living with HIV. Because of money from the Global Fund Malawi has been able to put 350,000 people on treatment , and infection rates are down 72% since 2004. However, 650,000 are still going without treatment.

Malawi does not have 12% of the population living with HIV. Because similar claims were made decades ago and yet the population continues to grow. Malawi may or may not have a HIV problem but we sure as hell don’t know what it is. If infection rates are down 72% it is more likely that the GFM has paid for better testing which has showed the earlier figures were alarmist nonsense. In fact it is doubtful they are even giving drugs to people who need them. Testing is expensive. They are more likely to be giving them to people they think need them.

This is despite the fact it costs just 23 pence a day to keep someone with the HIV virus alive by giving them treatment with ARVs.

Something I note their government is not paying for.

Should no resources be found by June 2014, Malawi will not be able to continue providing the HIV treatment to its population.

Which is likely to have no impact at all on the Malawi problem. We know what works – Uganda’s ABC approach. Not telling people that if they screw around the West will pay to keep them infectious for decades.

A Robin Hood tax could raise hundreds of billions, money from which could be used to make sure the next generation is Aids free.

No one is ever going to be AIDS free. Ever again. A Robin Hood tax is pointless as it will cause more economic damage than it will raise in revenue. Nor is this crass exploitation of African babies dying all that convincing. The governments will take the money and spent it on their favoured clients. As they always do.

“A Robin Hood tax could raise hundreds of billions”

No, it wouldn’t. The RHT will reduce total tax revenues. Why is it that you people cannot understand this simple fact?

It’s even in the EU Commission’s own report into this. It’s in the House of Lords committee evidence and findings.

It just won’t increase tax revenues, it will shrink them.

” For World Aids Day 2012 Bill Nighy visited Malawi to find out how decisions made on the trading floors of the City of London and Wall Street have meant life or death for millions of the world’s poorest people living with HIV. ”

If you want Western governments to donate more money to deal with HIV infection in poor African countries you should just make that case. Trying to make tenuous links between African HIV infection and decisions in global financial centres is just emotionalism that discredits what you are trying to say. You could equally say the decisions of electors mean ” life or death for millions of the world’s poorest people living with HIV. ” Decisions in the cabinet mean ” life or death for millions of the world’s poorest people living with HIV. ” Elected government ministers make the decisions how much they will donate and not people in the City or Wall St.

There is zero tradition in the UK for hypothecated taxes. Instead of blaming the City and Wall St., how about lobbying all those Social Democrat Nirvana’s in Europe that we are always hearing about to donate more. Maybe ask them to match the UK donations and fulfill the commitments that they have made. There is plenty of scope starting with the biggest economy in the EU.

What the fuck is this dribble

“A Robin Hood tax could raise hundreds of billions, money from which could be used to make sure the next generation is Aids free. ”

You are sick in the head exploiting this issue, and that is what you are doing because no one is thick enough not to understand the issues here.

Another leftist monkey banging a drum.

Shorter version.

“All the ills of the world are caused by capitalism and I have introduced to my post the key elements of poor people suffering and rich people gloating.

I can’t actually be bothered doing any work to evidence the causal connections but WTF I’m sure you all agree with me, don’t you?”

Brilliant stuff!!!

8. Chaise Guevara

Agreed with most of the above. This is a strange connection to draw, and within the article at least no explanation is given.

I’m sure you could cobble something together along the lines of “If the City had/hadn’t done X there would be more AIDS money”, but presumably you could also say “If the City had/hadn’t done X there would be less AIDS money” or for that matter “If the City had/hadn’t done X we might have won the last World Cup”. If you’re going to appeal to holisticism you need to do it evenly.

I’m sorry but what?!?! This is a bit like saying “because you don’t eat grapefruit in the morning a childs dog in Mexico will die of starvation” on the basis that you are depriving money from a Grapefruit grower who in turn is unable to give his child an allowance, which he then uses to feed his now starved dog, all because you don’t eat grapefruit!

Not only this but as Worstall points out below, the EU has even produced a report saying revenue will drop.

Not only these points, but if you really think that giving money to Africans is going to help them then you are seriously misleading yourselves. Just look at the record on aid. The VAST majority of impact is on the government of that countries pockets. Please stop kidding yourselves over the effectiveness of African aid, barely a dribble is getting through the tyrants fingertips.

10. Chaise Guevara

@ Freeman

“Not only these points, but if you really think that giving money to Africans is going to help them then you are seriously misleading yourselves. ”

From the article: “Because of money from the Global Fund Malawi has been able to put 350,000 people on treatment, and infection rates are down 72% since 2004.”

I’d say reducing AIDs infection rates by 72% counts as “helping”.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Jason Brickley

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  2. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – Decisions on the trading floors London can mean life or death people with HIV http://t.co/NBab2RTY

  3. Mash Bonigala

    Decisions on the trading floors London can mean life or death … http://t.co/tV5rx5JR





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