AIDS and global justice

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7331.181 (Published 26 January 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:181

Resources from the global AIDS fund must reach the poorest

  1. Gavin Yamey, deputy editor (gyamey@bmj.com),
  2. William W Rankin, president (WRankin@thegaia.org)
  1. Western Journal of Medicine, 1111 Franklin Street, Oakland, California 94607-5200
  2. Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance, PO Box 29110, San Francisco, California 94129-0110

    “The bottom line is, the people who are dying from AIDS don't matter in this world.”1

    Remember HIV/AIDS? This theme issue of the BMJ challenges the global community to overcome its amnesia and fatigue, mobilise its ample collective resources, and make 2002 the turning point in tackling HIV.

    The theme that dominates these pages is the need for justice. In his Theory of Justice, John Rawls, perhaps the most important moral philosopher of the 20th century, argued that justice is required when there is a struggle for scarce resources and when life is brief.2 Both of these conditions are met in those countries devastated by HIV. Authors in this week's BMJ demand actions that are based on justice: the distribution of antiretroviral drugs to the world's poorest people; the empowerment of women; the urgent search for an HIV vaccine; and the care and education of children orphaned by AIDS.

    Wealthy countries must take the lead in acting justly. Their colonisation of the regions now struggling with rising HIV rates, like India and Africa, left behind a legacy …

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