On AIDS: Three Lessons From Africa

An AIDS fable: Once upon a time, in the years after AIDS went from being a death sentence to a manageable disease, at least for people rich enough to take antiretroviral therapy, many of the people who ran the world believed that these medicines weren’t appropriate for residents of very poor countries. Even leaving aside the cost, they thought that poor people couldn’t take their medicines on time. Andrew Natsios, the head of the United States Agency for International Development in the George W. Bush administration, argued against funding antiretroviral therapy in Africa. “People do not know what watches and clocks are,” he told the Boston Globe in June, 2001.

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