What we’re reading: Who?! for WHO goodwill ambassador? new routes to UNAIDS data and the costs of fighting, neglecting HIV

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Director General rescinds Goodwill Ambassador appointment – These days we’ll take what we can get in good news for global health progress. So while the bad news is that World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the astonishing selection of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe for WHO Goodwill Ambassador for noncommunicable diseases in Africa, the good news is that he changed his mind.

Choice of Mugabe as WHO goodwill envoy shocks, baffles – Now that it’s over, why Mugabe was an odd choice for any post with the words “goodwill” and “health” in it, makes for relatively light reading, from the observation that the long-reigning leader has “brutalized human rights activists, crushed democracy dissidents, and turned the breadbasket of Africa — and its health system — into a basket-case,” to: “Western diplomats also voiced surprise at the appointment and said they were unaware of the ‘decision-making structure’ behind it.”

Additional $120B needed to meet Federal HIV/AIDS Goals by 2020 – And this is why we need more good news on health responses, at home and internationally: Proven interventions are endangered by the false dichotomies of budget politics. Here, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, co-author of a recent Journal of Infectious Diseases report showing the value in lives and dollars saved by reaching U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy goals, notes the real risk that policy makers won’t make the needed resources available, while a shifting health policy landscape puts people living with HIV at additional risk of falling through the cracks.

UNAIDS updates site – The redesigned UNAIDS website includes three main portals (about halfway down the page) “data,” “topics” and “countries” to ease navigation across the site, with enhancements to the data section to include AIDSinfo database and the Key Population Atlas links.

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