When the foreign funded HIV programs pull out
Now it seems that the chickens are coming to roost. PEPFAR has announced that it will no longer be funding health NGOs in South Africa that provide HIV/AIDS services. HIV positive patients are stranded and scrambling to find alternative sources of care. This generally means joining the long lines in the highly challenged public health care sector. The potential for treatment interruptions abounds. This unwelcome development has not gathered much attention in the international press, although the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has weighed in, launching a press release stating that President Obama's cutting of Global AIDS Funding is 'shameful.' Well, yes and no. The shame should at least be shared by the South African government, in particular the Department of Health, whose ultimate responsibility it is to provide reasonable access to HIV/AIDS services for citizens who need them. It is not the sort of responsibility you can outsource to foreigners in perpetuity.