The title of an article in the New York Times stood out to me: “India: Gates Foundation’s AIDS Program in India Has Made Uneven Progress Over 8 Years.”
After reading the article, the title confused me.
The Gates Foundation pioneered an AIDS Prevention Program in India 8 years ago, preliminary reports on the success of the study are being released and the results show that the program has prevented 100,000 infections, at a cost of about $2,500 per infection prevented. To date, the Foundation has spent over $330 million on the project and analysis by epidemiologists in India and at the University of Washington concluded that infections dropped significantly in three southern states and not at all in two northern states. A reason for this was not given, however it is known that the epidemic in the south is largely due to sexual transmission while in the north the infection is driven by drug injection. The lack of change in the northern states is likely the reason that the results are being considered “uneven.”
India is third for the country with the highest incidence of AIDS and due to government reluctance to discuss the problem, there are fears that India will eventually surpass South Africa in the number of AIDS cases.
Overall it appears that the Gates Foundation has made progress in shedding light on a problem that is not being appropriately addressed by the Indian government, therefore the title should show more optimism and highlight the advances made by the foundation rather than the cost of prevention. Education is key to preventing further transmission of AIDS and organizations like the Gates Foundation are financially supporting endeavors that are making a difference in the world.