What we’re reading: Global Health insecurity, why the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and ending AIDS at home

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The CDC is about to fall off a funding cliff – A couple of years after fast-moving and devastating outbreaks of Ebola and Zika overlapped, and even as the potential for both of those viruses to wreak havoc on families, communities, economies and on global stability continue in the absence of strong health response capacities, the makings of the next pandemic are already underway. The interventions to detect, prevent and contain it, are less certain. This article sums up the author’s warning last October, of what a lapse in critical funding for the Global Health Security Agenda, and other efforts to build infectious disease response capacities around the world would mean. And while noting that the funding needed to sustain those efforts could still be provided, the author notes that with preparations underway now to close U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention global in-country programs now, “damage is already being done.”

Trump wants to aid only “America’s friends” – A reminder that about 1 percent of the U.S. federal budget goes to foreign aid, and that spending, whether building the security, economic development, education or health capacities of other countries, inevitably serves U.S. interests as well, this article follows President Trump’s State of the Union call for aid to other countries to “only go to America’s friends.” Highlighting the implications of the president’s remarks, as well as the misconceptions on which it was based, the article also highlights a threat to continued progress in U.S.-led global efforts to contain the infectious diseases that are our common enemies.

Ending the HIV epidemic in Black communities – Rather than “stay the course” to end the disparately harsh impacts of HIV in the United States on black Americans, Dr. Melanie Thompson, an HIV physician, researcher, and chair of the HIV Medicine Association, urges in this National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day column tackling the route causes, including continued barriers to justice, housing, financial security and access to health services, while strengthening programs needed to fill gaps and even odds.

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