By giving away millions of dollars to HIV and AIDS reseach, does the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation play in the hands of pharmaceutical companies to the detriment of people with (alleged) hiv and aids?

Probably.

Is the foundation evil?

Probably not.

I sincerely believe that Bill and Mel do what they think is best. As far as I know neither of them has experienced HAART, a positive test result and long may they live without ever having to!

The title link was sent to me in a comment to a previous post. Obviously its author did not read the blog or understand my position since he accuses me of backing pharmaceutical companies, promoting a cure and a vaccine and tells me that my foundation belongs to Bill and Melinda. For those reasons I did not allow the comment to be published but do take all suggestions into careful consideration.

The link relates to a LA Times article published in January 2007 which shows the Foundation in a very bad light.

The Times found that the Gates Foundation has holdings in many companies that have failed tests of social responsibility because of environmental lapses, employment discrimination, disregard for worker rights, or unethical practices.

More worryingly, the article explains that the foundation has major holdings in companies which directly counter countered the foundation’s charitable goals, e.g.

Pharmaceutical companies that price drugs beyond the reach of AIDS patients the foundation is trying to treat.

Do we believe Bill and Mel are doing this on purpose to make even more money for themselves? Is this an unavoidable countereffect encountered by most philanthropical enterprises? I believe they are doing their best to help but what do you think?

Vote now.

Treatment worse than HIV?

Saturday 14 April 07

My mother died of cancer. Cancer made her hip swell inexplicably and caused her discomfort when she walked. Chemotherapy made her lose her hair, her sight, her dignity, her well-being, her job, any strength she had left.



I was reminded of this dilemma – let the disease or the cure kill you- while watching the AIDS Inc. trailer on YouTube. The video itself only features fragments of sentences which make it a little to sensational for me to be able to form an opinion about the movie. Does it hold any truth or new argument?



However, the CNN website has an article from 1998 about this particular dilemma, When The Cure Seems Worse Than the Disease. In a nutshell, disease is bad, treatment can be really bad but without a treatment the disease can get worse. Which leaves us with the same dilemma, really. How far down the line are we willing to stick with the treatment?



Faced with serious side-effects caused by the treatment, I wonder if I would have the courage to face the disease by itself – save my dignity and make the suffering shorter? Would I be aware enough to realise when the time was coming to take that step? Would I let medecine try everything it can on me, until my last breath, just in case?



Tell me what you would do.





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