May 30th, 2011
10:43 AM ET

U.S. budget ax threatens successful AIDS program in Africa

By Eric Marrapodi, Jim Acosta and Tom Foreman, CNN

Washington (CNN) - The biblical story of Lazarus is happening again in Africa. At least it looks that way.

One moment, men, women and children suffering from AIDS are lying at death's door, barely able to move, open their eyes, or speak. Then a few days or weeks later, they are walking, talking, laughing; truly appearing to have come back from the dead.

This astonishing transformation has been repeated all over the continent thousands of times over the past decade. And, since 2003, America has been helping to pay for it.

But a budget-slashing effort in Congress this year threatens to bring much of that progress to a sudden and catastrophic halt.

Read the full story on CNN.com/Politics

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Belief • Christianity • Foreign policy • Politics • TV • United States

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soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. James Black


    June 3, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
  2. Lindsaygirl


    June 1, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  3. Mark from Middle River

    Wait guys, we just gave over two to four Billion of aid to Egypt.... wait sorry ... Obama just gave that much money to Egypt.

    Which was more important to the contient of Africa, Eygpt or fighting Aids...

    .... looks like Eygpt won over aids. Tell me again about all this great "change" that was supposed to happen...

    May 31, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • Zeb

      @Mark – When I voted for Obama, it was because he didn't sound like a retard. I knew there would be some political crud from a politician like him, but I was not prepared to see the huge amount of crud I cannot approve of actually happening.
      Well, being screwed by the politicians in DC is nothing new. If you Republicans could actually stop being obstructionist and try to work for a better America, then you might have a chance of finding someone I could vote for.
      But the GOP has been overtaken by forces too strong for them. The party has been hijacked by enemies of the state.
      So in the meantime, we are stuck with a half-assed President who is nevertheless much better than any Republican version waiting in the wings. Without a better choice, I will probably vote for Obama again.
      And, yes, the change has been minimal, even non-existent in the spots where it really matters to me. But what alternatives are there to the status quo in DC? Nothing but a massive sea-change will do the trick, and Obama shows no sign of having those sorts of balls. (is that what you were fishing for?) 😛

      June 1, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Zeb – In this article they describe a year of 2003 in which the program was helped by Americans. That would be G.W.'s first term. Do I think that Obama is a totally bad guy, heck no. Do I think that he is another president whose party is, as you say.. “has been overtaken by forces too strong for them”..most definite. The simple fact is that he had a chance for so many issues to really get in there and help. Now it just looks like things do not change.

      The interesting thing is that the rumbling in the African American community about his lack of attention to the community...is growing. Will it be enough to change a substantial votes in the African American community... nope. His inaction will keep more of them home from voting though.

      –>“If you Republicans could actually stop being obstructionist and try to work for a better America, then you might have a chance of finding someone I could vote for.”

      Reb, that could be said the same about the Democrats. The last thing we should do is starta whining contest feeling that a “better America” can only come about if only your party or my party got its way. No single party can create a “better America” it can only do more to help its own members and punish the other side.

      The thing that each year I grow and grow to find out is that I am beginning to doubt that the country really really wants change.

      Last election, for the first time in my life I did not vote. I got blasted by my Republican friends and even more so from members of the African American community. The same guys who freely admitted that they knew nothing of Obama's politics or history...but they knew he was black. My Republican friends, didn't know much of anything abut him either but that (D) behind his name was all they needed.

      What will always get me is how many of G.W.'s projects and plans Obama has kept. Heck, he just signed an extension to the Patriot Act, he conferred with Cheney about the war effort..... the bailout. Come on guys, the man thanked G.W. During his day after Osama's death.

      You say any Republicans waiting in the wings.... I am beginning to believe that you have a bit of a Republican right now “at bat”.

      June 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Zeb

      @Mark – Well said.
      I'm not trying to start a whining contest, but have you SEEN some of the totally illegal and insane crap some Republicans are doing? I want accountability on all sides. The worst criminals seem to be Republicans, although it is more likely to be the people behind the scenes who are pulling all these strings. Maybe some of those Republicans are just more willing to do bad things for money. I don't know.
      All I want is accountability to start with. We currently have none to speak of in DC. I have yet to see either Dems or Reps with any balls to face the criminal status quo, so I guess we'll just grow old in a messed up country without any hope for real change.
      I hate political corruption like few other things that are out there. I actually hate it worse than religion. That's pretty bad.
      It doesn't look good does it? And here I keep hoping somebody will do the right thing. We shouldn't have to bribe people to do the right thing, but that's what usually happens when somebody slips good legislation past the DC sharks.
      It's all about the money.
      Well, that was a whine-fest. I feel better though, after venting like that.

      June 1, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Zeb – The challenges are great because what you, me and a bunch of others are asking for is what the bulk of society wants....initially.

      Its simple politics 101. If I had two candidates presented before us. One says...

      “I can make this country and our lives better but there will be changes that will hurt all of us collectively as a country”.

      Folks might cheer for his honesty and might begin to reluctantly move in that direction. Now the next candidate steps forward and says …

      “half of us do not have to change anything, for everything half of us do already is ultimately good for the country. What we need to do is educate the other half to believe what we believe politically and/or punish them. The change is what is needed … we need those people to change”

      On that Zeb, half of the crowd would leap to their feet and/or pass the F-out. 🙂

      This is what we have now. We have candidates on both sides whose idea of change 90% of the time does not involve them or who they feel are the bulk of their party. What you call the “right thing” depends on who is saying it. Society could not agree on the right thing if the fate of humans on this planet were under immediate threat.

      The situation is that the politicians give folks what they want, the promise to deliver your political adversaries head on a platter. Until we can turn that offer of, the Atheist head, the Hispanics head, the Christians head, the Gay or Lesbians head, the black's head or the white's head down, then we will continue to get what we get.


      June 1, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • T-party

      Egypt is part of the continent of Africa, America is a very poor country in debt trillions of dollars...we owe China Billions...we can not afford to give African countries Isreal,Pakistan, or any other country one cent .....America is broke....God is Blessing India and China with American Jobs

      June 1, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Mark from Middle River

      More could have been done, if the Party of No, had even tried to cooperate.

      The Republicans (George W.) destroyed our economy, with tax cuts and fighting two wars on credit.

      The Republicans are now trying to rectify the situation by destroying Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. They are using the deficit to take away women't rights and health care. The poor and middle class will pay for the tax cuts to the rich and subsidies to the oil companies.

      The Religious Right is trying to destroy public education, by allowing vouchers to be allowed to fund religious schools.

      Now, the Republicans are using the debt ceiling as a lever to get the Dems to support the Ryan Amendment. I can only hope that Obama and the Dems will stand up for Medicare, no matter what.

      The Republicans appear to be in real trouble. Recalls, and elections going sour. There is a real chance the Dems may take back the House. Praise God!


      June 2, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  4. Reality

    Time for the citizens of Africa to become responsible human beings!!!

    May 30, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • Indian Reservation

      I agree. Let their own nations sovereignty handle their own situations/problems. We have enough problems here in the USA.

      May 31, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • T-party

      @ Reality I totally agree, Time for America to close its southern border, raise tariffs on China trade and let other countries grow up or fold

      June 1, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
  5. Zeb

    Hey, I see you've been doing the extremist thing again. Somehow I get the feeling you are good at algebra...am I right?

    May 30, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • Zeb

      oops, that went in the wrong place again. Oh, well, it's all good I guess....

      May 30, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • KingdomCome

      Don't worry peace2all...

      ignore zeb's comment,

      It is written... "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

      May 30, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • Peace2All


      LOL... ! 😀

      Have you had a good holiday weekend...? Something good/fun I hope...?

      Peace brother...

      May 30, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • Zeb

      It went okay. I'm glad it's over though. It was unfortunately memorable in spots. How ironic for Memorial Day weekend.

      May 30, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Sorry to hear bro... 🙁 I was hoping that all my 'cyber-buddies' would have a wonderful weekend. Well, maybe things will be better next week...?

      Peace brother...

      May 30, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Hey -King C...

      I sincerely appreciate your good intentions here to intervene on my behalf with -Zeb... However, there is no need here as -Zeb and I are very good friends here on the blog and understand and respect each other quite well.

      But, again... thank you anyway.

      Hey, -KingC... I hope that 'you' have had a good weekend...?


      May 30, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • Peace2All

      *Kingdom (not) Kingdom(e)

      Sorry my friend.


      May 30, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • Zeb

      @Peace2All – No, it actually went pretty well, really. Just a tiny hiccup here and there. Nothing major at all. But I missed out on any barbecue food – not really earth-shattering I'm afraid.

      May 30, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
  6. David Johnson


    Spoken like a true Republican.

    George W., cut taxes and fought two wars.

    We need a progressive tax. We need to cut defense spending. We need to stop giving subsidies to oil companies.

    We need Medicare, Social Security, and Universal Health Care. We need planned parenthood.

    The Republicans will destroy these. Republicans serve the rich and the Religious Right. If you aren't rich or don't have a wish to take over the country, vote for Obama and the Dems.


    May 30, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • RightturnClyde

      Well regardless of who is prezeeident YOU have to pay the bills. You will pay your taxes first and can spend after taxes. The "bail out" tripled your obligation and it has to come from somewhere. If there are fewer job being taxed they have to pay higher taxes. One way to reduce the debt is to let the dollar shrink .. stand by (Obummer took care of that too). Your dollar will be worth about .05 so a Toyota will be $100k. (four US states put all their savings in gold) So you will have less money, it will be worth less (worthless), you will be able to buy less but you can work longer and harder to get it. Now that's being kind to your fellow man. Thank you for your generosity .... but still don't travel in those countries for another 50 years.

      May 30, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Zeb

      @David Johnson – Don't you just love the Republican sleazy trick of listing their own crimes and saying Democrats did it all?
      Just par for the course. They do it so often I'm expecting them to say Dems supported Hitler instead of GWBush's granpa.
      Yep, that would probably be next...

      May 30, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Yo Clyde, If the dollar shrinks, yes, imports will be more expensive. But exports will be cheaper and more will be sold, That means more money coming in and more employment and more profit for American firms. China's stupendous growth is in large part due to their keeping their currency's value artificially LOW. As a more or less libertarian, I'm used to having tom explain economics 101 stuff to liberals, but lately it seems it's the conservatives who least understand the markets they claim to support.

      May 31, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • Nonimus

      "They do it so often I'm expecting them to say Dems supported Hitler instead of GWBush's granpa."

      "Rumors about the alleged Nazi 'ties' of the late Prescott Bush, the grandfather of President George W. Bush, have circulated widely through the Internet in recent years. These charges are untenable and politically motivated. ...Prescott Bush was neither a Nazi nor a Nazi sympathizer." (the Anti-Defamation League, http://www.adl.org/Internet_Rumors/prescott.htm)

      Who's being sleazy again?

      May 31, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • Zeb

      @Nonimus – Oh, did I step on your smelly toes again? I may have to wash my shoes now...
      Why wouldn't you be proud of Granpa Bush for hatin' them nasssty ole Jooz and colored people? Them are Republican values, son!
      Now get out there and get a clue instead of defending the criminal behavior of your party.

      May 31, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Wow, what brought that on?
      I'm just pointing out that the Anti-Defamation League disagrees with you, but don't let the facts get in the way, I'm sure the name-calling fully supports your position... some how...

      May 31, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • Indian Reservation

      Those same Right wing folks who are PRO-LIFE.. better start ante' up for more prisons and anti-death penalty folks as well. You make your bed, you gotta sleep in it too.

      May 31, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      –> " They do it so often I'm expecting them to say Dems supported Hitler"

      Well, Reagan's family used to house visiting African American players during Jim Crow. Al Gore's dad voted against the civil rights act, if i remember..... We also can go into former grand wizard Robert Byrd (D)

      May 31, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Zeb

      @Nonimus – Sorry, I was shootin at anything that moved earlier. Nevermind.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:43 am |
  7. Peace2All

    From the Article:

    "He (President George W. Bush) often talked about 'To whom much is given, much is required,' " said Gerson, of the sponsor of the plan. "There was a motivation here of what America should do and be; that we should be a source of hope but also a kind of conscience motivation here, very much rooted in his (faith)."

    While I understand that for quite a few -believers- the *reason* they (give) to those in need is, -because- of their particular 'beliefs' or (faith). i.e... the Bible tells them so, etc...

    I recognize that my question here is 'very' hypothetical, and I often wonder of the 'believers' would you still give anyway, if you 'didn't' have faith, or you were an atheist...? I suppose that would vary from individual to individual.

    I often wonder this, as I know for me, and other atheists/agnostics we don't require faith in God to give... we do it because we truly believe and know it to be the right, kind, moral, etc... thing to do.

    And... regardless, I guess whether you are a 'believer' or 'non-believer'... I think, in general, we can all agree it is better to help our fellow man in need, than not.


    May 30, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Good question. Let's see what comes of it.


      May 30, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Twice I wrote my response, twice His truth was blocked.


      May 30, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Peace2All, I suppose you believe you got this wisdom from the book of heathens (LOL).


      May 30, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "I suppose you believe you got this wisdom from the book of heathens"

      I'm curious. Where do you believe our morals come from?


      May 30, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Teebi Dan Wellsmith

      If our fellow man is one of those megachurch pastors, or a pedophilic molestor-priest, or some other total sleazeball, I will gladly wave as they burn to death, drown, or generally suffer and die.
      I will wave cheerfully and smile as I read the news of their death.
      But I will help other people. Some just aren't worth helping these days if we can't also cure them of their insanity.
      Might as well take a dump on their graves as help them, really. Some people just deserve death.
      That's why I don't help anyone but who really deserves it, needs it, and I am able to give it. That's it.

      May 30, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Hey -HS...

      You Said: "Peace2All, I suppose you believe you got this wisdom from the book of heathens (LOL)."

      You didn't answer my hypothetical question. Are you able to even conceive of what I asked...?

      Also, @David Johnson accurately spoke to the inference of your posting to me.


      May 30, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Zeb

      @Peace2All – Yes, it is usually better to help than to not help, but these skinflints have batshlt crazy ideas about the concept of money and taxes and a whole lotta other stuff. They forget they are being helped everyday, but don't want to think of it that way. It's easier to be a hoarding "christian" who hates taxes that might help someone than to be a generous christian who doesn't mind helping people.
      And what are these rich congregations doing with their money? Buying multi-million dollar churches and taking church vacations. One big party. Without the love for their fellow man, of course. But they love that money. They help themselves.
      I've lived next door to different churches over the years and NONE of them ever talked with their neighbors that I ever saw or heard about.
      They say they welcome people but they really don't. I used to get mad about this when I was one of the deluded. Go figure.

      May 30, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
  8. Doc Vestibule

    At least the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation continues to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into AIDS research and treatment facilities world wide.
    That one secular NGO is doing more to feed, vaccinate, educate and otherwise improve the quality of life for impoverished peoples than many individual governments (not to mention Churches).

    May 30, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Privately funded NGOs can cut to the chase a lot quicker than governments typically can. But they always have to find a way to work WITH local governments, who are often highly sus-picious of them – sometimes with good reason, other times because they are power mad loons who don't WANT anyone helped if there's nothing in it for them.

      May 31, 2011 at 9:10 am |
    • Indian Reservation

      Time to end social welfare for the world. Time for world governments to take upon their own responsibility. Why not instead of feeding the poor., We set up iPHONE and iPAD manufacturing facilities in those places. WE are as a country helping others for those who help themselves.

      Economically, Stop giving them the fish, and give them a Rod and Net to teach them. They can do it themselves. They can walk themselves, they can themselves help others run.

      May 31, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  9. RightturnClyde

    The U.S. cannot be a funding source for the rest of the world when it is broke to the point of bankruptcy. The U.S. has been pretending it is the world bank since the end of WWII. But the U.S. (thanks to unions and lawyers ) ceased to be a wealth producing nation quite some time ago. It is a wealth consuming nation (and at present it is eating its own asset base in the form of loans). The "rest of the world" has to look to China and India to become the "big daddy" but they probably will not be as generous as the U.S has been over the last 50 years. Ditto for the elitist Catholic and Protestant bishops who want the U.S. to pay their bills. Time to find another sugar daddy .. this one i s BROKE .. and Obummer made it even MORE BROKE. Flat broke.

    May 30, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Insecure in Bel-Air

      Of course that fact that most of that debt was run up, by misguided foreign military adventures, begun and administered during Dubya's reign is conveniently missing from your analysis. If we would stop worshiping at the altar of the "good ole boys" of the military industrial complex, maybe there would be some money left over for this sort of charity, by this supposedly "Christian" nation.

      May 30, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Teebi Dan Wellsmith

      It is the Republicans and their idiot offspring who have driven this country into the ground.
      But cross-eyed dumbf*ks like Clyde here are the ones who are too stupid to know how stupid they are and how they are being used to make this country even worse, even more broke, and even more f*ked up.
      Clyde, if I could shoot you in the haid I would. But there's more dumbf*ks like you and I don't have that much ammo.
      You are the most pathetic excuse for a dumb American that I have never seen. Dumber than a dirt clod.
      Why don't you change your name to Clod? Better yet, why don't you just die and help our country that way?

      May 30, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The first thing that the IMF and World Bank do when a country comes to them for assitance in the wake of natural disaster, war, civil insurrection etc it to privatize every single public commodity, thus robbing the country of it's capacity to regain economic autonomy.
      Those assets are sold off to American corporations who milk them dry.
      Even reconstruction efforts, when handled by the IMF/WB, wind up being subcontracted to (mostly) American businesses, cutting out the locals not only from wages but also from any sense of control over teh reconstructions of their devasted nations.
      Read Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine" for a fuller picture.
      Generally speaking, when the U.S. gives "charity" – there is the tacit agreement that TANSTAAFL (there ain't no such thing as a free lunch).

      May 30, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Doc Vestibule

      Damn, I've said it before, and I am sure I will say it again and again. You are one smart human.


      May 30, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Doc, david,
      Thanks for the reference, Ill have to look into it. Although from initial impressions I have a hard time telling the difference between Klien and many right wing cospiracy theorists, other than starting point of course. I do find it interesting that both target/blame international organizations, UN = New socialist world order and IMF = New capitalist world order (shock doctrine).

      May 30, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      @Doc V
      Back at ya.
      "That was 10 pounds of awesome in a five pound bag". 🙄

      May 30, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Doc V. & @Nonimus

      Both of you... excellent thoughts.


      May 30, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • Zeb

      @Bucky Ball
      Are you RightTurnClyde? Or what?
      Could you clarify your position?

      May 30, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Sorry. When he said that to this country hick, 2 weeks ago, Mr. Naive here took it as high praise. Maybe I shouldn't have ?
      he saying is : "That's 10 pounds of sh-t in a 5 pound bag", so I assumed he meant THAT as a compliment, as I was returning here.Anyway it's a chance to use my "embarrassed" smiley. 😳
      (I still think he meant it as a compliment to the "10 Reasons Why Gay Marriage Should Be Outlawed" thingy.)
      I'm SO confused.

      May 30, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • Zeb

      @Bucky Ball – You're confused? Hell, I'm still confused and you didn't really answer my first question, btw.
      (and there is no smiley here for how I feel about all this, so you'll just have to do without this time on that score)

      May 30, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I meant nothing but good things by the 10 pound bag comment!
      Thanks for the positive feedback.

      Naomi Klein's bias is betrayed by her loaded language, but she generally cites good references to back up her statements (even if a lot of them are deliberately contentious).
      I gave a copy of The Shock Doctrine to my father, a SARTech with a long resume of world-wide humanitarian work. He told me it made him so angry/disgusted that he could only read it a few pages at a time.

      May 31, 2011 at 10:39 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.