The new episode of A Shot In The Arm Podcast is released today on
We chat with Chris Collins, President and CEO of Friends of the Global Fight about the essential work he and his team do to protect US funding for the Global Fund and the global response to AIDS, TB and malaria.
It is amazing how Chris and colleagues have sustained, and indeed grown, bipartisan support for the Fund, when this current US administration seeks every opportunity to slash budgets.
Chris talks about the direct impact of development aid on the safety and prosperity of the US, at home and abroad. The late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke (with whom I co-founded the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS with MTV’s Bill Roedy and Georgia Arnold) said that the health of an HIV positive South African miner through access to HIV treatment directly affects the wellness and security of an auto worker in Ohio. Chris calls out particularly the continuing menace of that awful HIV co-traveller, TB.
I am humbled and grateful to everyone for the huge support for A Shot In The Arm’s first episode, 21st Century Prevention. Many of you commented that while it may be nice to see the contents of our HIV prevention shopping bag, they are very unlikely to happen in the current political climate. So why not call that out?
So, I have tried to join the dots between what the US administration actually does and what it would mean for HIV. I make clear my absolute rejection of that kind of evidence-free and isolationist tribal populism. It is shocking, and all too possible. I keep coming back to Congresswoman Lee’s challenging Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over his assertion that AIDS can be ended and significantly cutting funding at the same time.
We all have to watch for the tendency to drift towards the data that supports our narrative. I know I can do that from time to time. But there is something very different happening now in the US, UK, Hungary, Brazil…. It is beyond the bounds of usual political discourse. We have been here before: A pernicious bullying by the entitled that results from the rest of us not caring enough. And we have beaten it before: Tribal populism only wins when we let it.
This is particularly the case in health. Good health, like good education, is a foundation of civilized society. Everyone is entitled to good health. The question ultimately comes down to how we achieve this. Maybe privately or publicly provided, or a blend of the two. Our job is simply to make that a reality. And in the coming weeks, we will explore the science that could help us.
Finally, I am delighted to share some very good news. The Californian Prostitutes Education Project (CALPEP) of which I am a Board member, announced today that it has appointed the amazing community advocate Jamila Shipp as new Executive Director to succeed Gloria Lockett (who is a friend of A Shot In The Arm, regular contributor and co-host). You can find the announcement here.
I hope you enjoy the podcast. You can find us on iTunes, Google Play Music, Spotify and Stitcher. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook @shotarmpodcast. Be sure to subscribe, and if you like us, give us five stars!
Links you may find interesting:
If you are concerned, or want to learn more about HIV testing, prevention and treatment: