Former President Bill Clinton, when speaking at the Democratic Convention in Denver to endorse and support Barack Obama, focused some of his thoughts on one of his -Clinton’s- altruistic passions, the treatment of AIDS. He spoke briefly of the problem, not only in America, but in particular in the 24 sub-Saharan African nations. He didn’t say it this way, but it is one of the greatest medical emergencies and moral dilemmas of the modern era.

Seventy percent of the world’s 34 plus million people infected with H-I-V live in that area.

Seventy percent!

And eight new people are infected every minute.

Not too long ago, five multinational drug companies agreed to cut the prices they charge African nations for anti-AIDS drugs. But the treatment of AIDS-suppressing drugs still might cost two-thousand dollars a year for one patient, four times the average income in many of those countries.

The moral dilemma for humanity is why have we ignored Africa and the AIDS epidemic for such a long time and let it fester to genocidal proportions. Why are we not, as human beings, seeing this as a pandemic emergency? If we look at it only as governments, as drug companies, a dispassionate venue emerges. If we look at it as fellow human beings, then the suffering, the pathos, the inhumanity of it all is shocking and shameful that we let it happen.

I wonder if greed or to be nicer, the profit margin, has anything to do with it.

I wonder if race has anything to do with it.

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