AIDS: Should America Stay home?

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Re: AIDS: Should America Stay home?

Postby barfle » Thu Jul 15, 2004 4:57 pm

I'm not sure what the testing procedure for Thalidomide was, but for a drug intended to treat morning sickness, it clearly was inadequate.

There is research on Thalidomide's effectiveness against other maladies, such as leprosy, going on now.
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Re: AIDS: Should America Stay home?

Postby piqaboo » Thu Jul 15, 2004 4:59 pm

Q is -
should american dollars be used to buy drugs from american "brandname" manufacturers, or
should those american dollars be used to buy 'generic' drugs that directly compete with the brand name drugs, thus injuring the (few)american brandname manufacturers ?
Although many of the brand name drugs are not from american businesses - so instead we offend our european trading partners.

By selecting the first, we are certainly attaching a string or two - see earlier discussion this thread.
On the other hand, dont we have a responsibility to our own?

Heck, Roche is my companys' number one competition. Lets DEFINITELY use our donations to buy Brasilian generics of anything that Roche holds the patent on!
And I dont live in Switzerland, so lets go generic with anything made by Novartis too.
But I hold stock in Lilly, so lets only buy name-brands of the drugs Lilly holds patents on!

If I were Africa, I'd do my darndest to talk us into spending our american dollars on generic drugs. India, as I understand it, basically told us to take a hike with our patent laws. Works for them AND we still trade with them!
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Re: AIDS: Should America Stay home?

Postby haggis » Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:35 am

'Lords of London" weren't they a mid-60's Canadian rock group? :D
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Re: AIDS: Should America Stay home?

Postby RC » Fri Jul 16, 2004 9:26 am

Coincidentally, there was a special on TV last night about the AIDS epidemic in Africa. I'm sorry I only caught a glimpse before going to bed so I can't tell you what program it was or in what country they were in.

They were interviewing soldiers in a military hospital that was absolutely overrun with AIDS patients. The only drugs they had were to treat symptoms while the disease ran rampantly on its merry way.

One of the new victims had been diagnosed for a month and said he "hadn't had the heart to tell his wife yet"... swallow that pill however you can.

Yahoo News article:
The other -- newer -- point of view was put forward controversially at the conference by Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni. He has also cut back the AIDS crisis dramatically in his own country through the use of condoms, but now takes a slightly different approach.


At the conference, he stressed that most important of all is a loving relationship between a man and a woman, based on trust, but that people who cannot abstain from non-marital sex -- who cannot be faithful or are estranged -- should depend upon condoms. His strategy has been known as "ABC," or "Abstinence, Being faithful, and Condoms."
The last part of the program that I caught was a comment that the hospital was expecting things to get much worse because people from "the north" were ignorant about AIDS and were fleeing south. So this could quite possibly have been the area Haggis speaks of.

Maybe someone else saw that and can fill us in.
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Re: AIDS: Should America Stay home?

Postby Shapley » Fri Jul 16, 2004 11:05 am

Nicole,

RE:<<But Bush says no, you have to buy the brand names. Helping out his drug company buddies? We've seen that with our own elderly in this country.>>

The generic companies are not doing the research that will develop the eventual vaccine.

Also, President Bush's restrictions only affect monies flowing from our federal government to these facilities, not private donations or donations from other countries. If it is true that clinics are shutting down because of President Bush' decision, then it is clear that those yelling so loudly that the U.S. is not doing its part are full of it, and clearly aren't doing theirs.

Technically, the Government cannot provide "charity" in the strictest sense, only "foreign aid". Thus, strings attached to foreign aid are not improper. The givers, i.e. taxpayers, do not get to "opt out" of government giving, and thus it is not charitable.

Money given by individuals directly to charities comes without the governmental strings. Groups such as the Catholic Medical Mission Board are working with aids victims around the world, and use the donations sent them to good avail.

V/R
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Re: AIDS: Should America Stay home?

Postby RC » Fri Jul 16, 2004 11:06 am

Interesting tidbit:
I used to donate blood on a regular basis. As long as I could keep my weight above 100 lbs, they would drain whatever they could get as often as possible.

My husband grew up in Nairobi. We were married in 1989.

About 1991, I had to be over 100 lbs AND have my blood tested for AIDS because my husband grew up in Nairobi.

By about 1996 (?), they wouldn't even test my blood, they simply turned me down flat out.

I haven't even attempted since then.
I wonder if they do the same to people who visit or lived in Asia now?

AIDS has incredible repercussions.
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Re: AIDS: Should America Stay home?

Postby Nicole Marie » Fri Jul 16, 2004 11:21 am

Uhh.. thanks Shapely. We already had this discussion.

Funny that happens to you too RC. I have tattoos. With a new tat you have to wait a year before giving. I had my last one five years ago. I went to give after Sept 11th and they turned me down too. I wonder how many other restrictive rules they have for donation?
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Re: AIDS: Should America Stay home?

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Fri Jul 16, 2004 11:25 am

Originally posted by RC:
I wonder if they do the same to people who visit or lived in Asia now?

AIDS has incredible repercussions.
Yes, they do. At least some parts of Asia. There are decent reasons for this.

The AIDS testing that is available for use now is based on detection of blood factors produced in response to the AIDS virus. They cannot detect the virus directly, and therefore cannot detect new AIDS infections at all. The body will have active AIDS virus present in the blood stream for some months before the immunoassay shows a positive response.

Translated: you can be infected and can pass the infection along before the AIDS test comes up positive. Sometimes a long time before.

This is why blood banks have such long waiting periods if there is a significant statistical likelihood of having any exposure at all to the wretched pathogen. This is why they won't take blood at all from people who've spent time "on the ground" in heavily infected areas, or from the people who have close contact with those individuals.

And you're right. AIDS has incredible repercussions.
>^..^<
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Re: AIDS: Should America Stay home?

Postby Shapley » Fri Jul 16, 2004 11:30 am

Nicole,

Sorry. I've been in and out the past two weeks, and haven't been able to keep up with the board on a regular basis. I was skimming the topics when your post caught my attention. I've not had time to read the lengthy posts that followed yet.

V/R
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Re: AIDS: Should America Stay home?

Postby RC » Fri Jul 16, 2004 12:14 pm

Selma, thanks.

So, point again: "forcing it (foreign aid) down their throats" is more than just "charity" ...

(sorry for hammering that symantecs thing Nicole.)

I'd like to be able to say, as a foreign aid giving government:

Hey, this is not charity, we need for you to DO something in return. We expect you to start an education program which includes in part, abstinence, fidelity, and/or condom use with this money. We need to use our drugs instead of generic so that we can continue to support the R&D that brings it to you. This is important to both of us.

Governments are not charitable, people are. This is more like a business decision.
And, I think its important that the world percieves it as such.

I think we too often push the "America is the most charitable country on earth" attitude in connection with our politics.

Giving a human characteristic to a government entity allows others the opportunity to make the same connection and expect something other than a business decision.

I'm sounding barfle-ish... (lol barfle, thanks for letting me jab you): I know it isn't that simple but thats the way it OUGHT to be. IMHO.
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Re: AIDS: Should America Stay home?

Postby Nicole Marie » Fri Jul 16, 2004 12:57 pm

No biggie RC but people are dieing. It seems cold to play with peoples lives so we can develop a business deal. Government has to have human side. Our policies effect world opinion which inturn effects how future relations and development with countries turns out. We have to allow for the "human factor" too when we make polices.

I can understand asking the country to develop education prgrams to help slow the spread of AIDS. (ABC) But to ask them to buy one type of pill when they can, for the same price, buy oh say... 20 pills and help more people. It seems heartless otherwise. It serves to upset governments which in turn effects future relations and future business deals. When you present a fair policy you make good business deals in the end. Government must act this way.
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Re: AIDS: Should America Stay home?

Postby RC » Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:01 pm

I hope you all have figured out my incideous tactics by now.

Any time someone tries to play on your emotions to win you over when it comes to politics, you are going to get disappointed.

I reviled the article from the link in Haggis original post. Don't ever confuse charity with politics. To say that the US Government is charitable is an oxymoron.

To compare private charitable fund raising and US foreign aid is ludicrous and short sited.

The GLOBAL AIDS epidemic effects the US in MANY ways. Maybe we should just pack up our toys and go home? Thats foolishness. We can afford to allow crisis to continue less than we can afford the billions of $$ in aid.
We really are the last remaining super power.

Of COURSE we can't be isolationists, those times are ancient history.

Who is not getting my blood donations...some Ethiopian? No, its the kid with a jar at the check-out stand in your grocery store that needs a transplant, right here in our country.

Why do you think we are spending $$ in Africa to control AIDS?
Why do you think our top recipients of foreign aid are Egypt and Israel? (Check your maps)
Why do we keep supporting the South American economy?

This isn't charity folks, lets not cry over having our feelings hurt.
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Re: AIDS: Should America Stay home?

Postby RC » Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:11 pm

Nicole,

Governments serve specific functions. I DON'T want my government to be a not-for-profit charitable organization.
It isn't.
I want my government to govern and leave charity, morality, etc...to you and me.

I don't want the world to see my government as being a charity.
It isn't.
I want the world to see my government as the thing that protects me, its citizen, and to see its citizens as being kind and charitable.
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Re: AIDS: Should America Stay home?

Postby Nicole Marie » Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:44 pm

That's not what I am saying RC. Yes there we can give money and ask for something in return. But when you impose strict rules that will only piss off another government, you are not making a relationship that will last or serve you in the future.

<small>[ 07-16-2004, 02:46 PM: Message edited by: Nicole Marie ]</small>
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Re: AIDS: Should America Stay home?

Postby haggis » Fri Jul 16, 2004 2:05 pm

"SUDAN: Disaster Looms and America Will Be Blamed


July 16, 2004: Nothing much has changed in Darfur, despite promises from the government to halt the attacks on non-Arab Sudanese by government supported Arab Sudanese militias, and the Sudanese armed forces as well. International pressure is building, but most nations are restricted, by their anti-American protests against U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The UN will have a very hard time agreeing on what to do, because many Arab countries are reluctant to criticize Sudan for its use of Arab militias to attack non-Arab Sudanese. But even if the UN approved military intervention, how do you get there? Darfur is over 500 kilometers from the Sudanese Red Sea ports, and borders land locked Chad (which is willing to help) and Libya (which is reluctantly willing to help, and is not land locked.) Mounting a military operation in Sudan is similar to what went on in Afghanistan in late 2001. You can't get many troops in there, and it's difficult to support them."


Hundreds of thousands of Sudanese Africans are expected to starve to death or die from disease due to the violence and disorder in the next few months.

I can't comprehend those numbers and I saw hundreds of bodies in the Kagera River during the last genocidal pogrom in Rwanda.

I’ve called and written my congressman and senators and urged them to do something more substantive than lectures.

After 56 years, 28 of which were in the military, I’m still capable of being amazed by the evil callousness of people.

AIDS is important and our help to the problem is vital (not to mention damn near unique, at least based on the scope of participation) but this is slightly more immediate.
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Re: AIDS: Should America Stay home?

Postby RC » Fri Jul 16, 2004 2:42 pm

Diplomacy is always a plus in business.

Being in the best position world wide to provide aid gives us the advantage of getting the greatest bang for our buck.

Since its a huge investment with grave consequences, it is likely that we will endeavor to make it successfull.

In this particular case, I do not believe that the US under Clinton or now under Bush, has abused or is abusing our advantage to promote anything other than rehabilitation.

Imposing stringent rules is our prerogative. Part of making a difference is walking the thin line between having it our way because we think its the most efficient way to control the situation and pushing our way to the point of inciting terrorism.

Possibly you are correct about the generics.

But, if we don't buy our drug companies hard earned products, how will we fund them for R&D for the future? Who will find a cure? The people who came up with these drugs expect a salary. Wouldn't you? Even if people were dieing?

As far as drugs go, we aren't actually talking about STOPPING AIDS. There is no pill to cure it yet. If there were, I bet we'd use whatever name-brand-knock-off was cheapest.

So far, it looks like the most successful retardation of AIDS IS condoms, abstinence, and fidelity.

The most efficient business decision also happens to be the most humanitarian. What a great perq. We could do our best to slow it down while bolstering our R&D (the best in the world), to find a cure more quickly than anyone else could.

What the heck do I know? I'm making this stuff up as I go along.
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Re: AIDS: Should America Stay home?

Postby Nicole Marie » Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:03 pm

At least you can admit it. ;)

I found this article. Interesting and ironic. Thought I'd toss it in the mix:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3899657.stm
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Re: AIDS: Should America Stay home?

Postby RC » Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:38 pm

;) Hey I was serious too - at least about knowing the best method, I'm just stabbing in the dark like the rest of us no directly involved in our governments decisions.
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Re: AIDS: Should America Stay home?

Postby haggis » Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:40 pm

Nicole,

I would certainly taken anything published by the BBC with a large grain of salt.

Cuba, Yeah, THERE'S a beacon of social, health care and

economic hope for the Caribbean nations.


Cuba under Battista--Cuba in 1957--was a developed country. Cuba in 1957 had lower infant mortality than France, Belgium, West Germany, Israel, Japan, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

Cuba in 1957 had doctors and nurses: as many doctors and nurses per capita as the Netherlands, and more than Britain or Finland.

Cuba in 1957 had as many vehicles per capita as Uruguay, Italy, or Portugal.

Cuba in 1957 had 45 TVs per 1000 people--fifth highest in the world.

Cuba today has fewer telephones per capita than it had TVs in 1957.

You take a look at the standard Human Development Indicator variables--GDP per capita, infant mortality, education--and you try to throw together an HDI for Cuba in the late 1950s, and you come out in the range of Japan, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Israel.

Today? Today the UN puts Cuba's HDI in the range of Lithuania, Trinidad, and Mexico. (And knowledgeable critics – Dr. Carmelo Mesa-Lago) thinks the UN's calculations are seriously flawed: He maintains that Cuba's right HDI peers today are places like China, Tunisia, Iran, and South Africa.)

Thus I don't understand lefties who talk about the achievements of the Cuban Revolution: "...to have better health care, housing, education, and general social relations than virtually all other comparably developed countries." Yes, Cuba today has a GDP per capita level roughly that of--is "comparably developed"--Bolivia or Honduras or Zimbabwe, but given where Cuba was in 1957 we ought to be talking about how it is as developed as Italy or Spain

<small>[ 07-16-2004, 04:41 PM: Message edited by: Haggis ]</small>
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Re: AIDS: Should America Stay home?

Postby Nicole Marie » Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:47 pm

Haggis, I did not say I agreed with it. I was on line, found it and thought it was interesting to find due to the timing of this thread. Don't assume to know what I thought of it or Cuba just bc I posted a link. Here I'll use a Llaim line: Re-read my original post. My opinion was not included in it. (Nor have I still stated what I think of it.) DOn't ever assume.
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