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Bill Gates Gives $750M To AIDS Fund 214

Posted by Soulskill
from the chunk-of-change dept.
redletterdave writes "Microsoft chairman and philanthropist Bill Gates pledged $750 million to the troubled global AIDS fund on Thursday and urged governments to continue their support to save lives. Since the fund was launched 10 years ago, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given $1.4 billion to the charity, having already contributed $650 million prior to the latest donation. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria accounts for around a quarter of international financing to fight HIV and AIDS, as well as the majority of funds to fight TB and malaria."
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Bill Gates Gives $750M To AIDS Fund

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  • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:48PM (#38844671) Homepage Journal
    In all fairness, and despite this being wildly off topic, Jobs died of cancer because he refused treatment.
  • by Godai (104143) * on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:51PM (#38844733)

    A thousand children are born every day with HIV. There 2.5 million children with AIDS at the end of 2009. How easy was it for them to avoid it?

    Your attitude isn't far wrong as a Western perspective, but the truth is AIDS is pretty rampant in other parts of the world (particularly Africa). Over there, culture & religion are huge roadblocks to stopping the spread, which means there is a great deal of 'collateral damage' to people who you'd think would be safe (children, spouses, etc.).

    Whatever you think, 1.9 million people died in 2009 from AIDS, while 1.7 million died from tuberculosis. Not that tuberculosis isn't a fine target for money too, I just think its too facile to dismiss AIDS as 'easy to avoid' and therefore not worth pursuing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:57PM (#38844809)

    if even 1 dollar of this commitment goes to helping thats still more than all your complaining will do.... stfu!

  • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:22PM (#38845109) Homepage

    If, by "refuse treatment" you mean he had multiple surgeries including a transplant, and flying to mysterious locations for exotic treatments, then yeah. That.

    I thought the guy (and all Apple people) was a douche, but he did have a pretty crappy deal and fought it as well as most people could. Money-for-liver controversy notwithstanding.

  • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:43PM (#38845403) Homepage Journal

    Admittedly it's not completely clear-cut, but he didn't exactly do as much as he could have. Observe:

    Despite his diagnosis, Jobs resisted his doctors' recommendations for mainstream medical intervention for nine months,[103] instead consuming a special alternative medicine diet in an attempt to thwart the disease. According to Harvard researcher Dr. Ramzi Amir, his choice of alternative treatment "led to an unnecessarily early death".[136] According to Jobs's biographer, Walter Isaacson, "for nine months he refused to undergo surgery for his pancreatic cancer – a decision he later regretted as his health declined."[139] "Instead, he tried a vegan diet, acupuncture, herbal remedies and other treatments he found online, and even consulted a psychic. He also was influenced by a doctor who ran a clinic that advised juice fasts, bowel cleansings and other unproven approaches, before finally having surgery in July 2004."[140] He eventually underwent a pancreaticoduodenectomy (or "Whipple procedure") in July 2004, that appeared to successfully remove the tumor.[141][142][143] Jobs apparently did not receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy.[137][144] During Jobs's absence, Tim Cook, head of worldwide sales and operations at Apple, ran the company.[137]

    So sayeth Wikipedia. [wikipedia.org] The "flying to mysterious locations for exotic treatments" part did not work out so well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 27, 2012 @06:13PM (#38845665)

    Having worked on Grants funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation I can tell you that no other large philanthropic organization is as involved and concerned about how the money they give is used and asking to see direct evidence and holding the parties accountable for outcomes. They are perfectly OK with not re-funding any effort that hasn't made the progress they expected to see based on the funds they provided. They also use external auditors and processes to ensure that the grant recipients are not "fudging" the numbers or successes they report. If they have continued to fund this effort at such huge levels you can rest assured they have been over every aspect of the organization with a fine tooth comb, and decided that it is using the money well, and making tangible progress. The foundation is not perfect, but they are constantly looking for feedback and trying to adjust what they do to have more impact. I have met a few folks that work there and they take the work very seriously and are passionate about having a positive impact in peoples lives. If I had large amounts of money to donate I would feel entirely comfortable they would handle it responsibly.

  • by robotkid (681905) <alanc2052&yahoo,com> on Friday January 27, 2012 @06:27PM (#38845799)

    Well, I have an issue with this. From the article:

    While that will give an immediate boost, more is needed from governments, which have provided the bulk of the $22.6 billion that has been raised by the Geneva-based organization to date for its work in 150 countries.

    The commitment of governments was shaken last year when the fund reported "grave misuse of funds" in four recipient nations, prompting some donors such as Germany and Sweden to freeze their donations.

    Why do coutnries pay into this foundation that invests primarily in American funds and stocks [buzzflash.com]? Why do they not setup their own charities that invest in their own stocks or -- better yet -- give it directly to the institutions of medical research?

    This perplexes me to no end. This foundation is at the mercy of the stock market and rely on money managers to post returns every year so that it can give those returns to the targeted countries and research -- right up until a crisis causes those funds to greatly shrink.

    I have complained about this before [slashdot.org] and been called "full of bullshit [slashdot.org]" and I guess this is just one thing that my opinion and concern diverges on from the rest of the readers here. This is charity in the form of keeping the capital inside America's border and shaving off returns. The money stays at work in America and no such stock or company or infrastructure is built up in the countries that could truly use it and truly need it.

    When you're talking billions of dollars, you're talking enough money to start internal institutions and programs that could create jobs or better education as well as do medical research. Instead this money stays in the coffers of rich Western companies and even after the returns are "given" to the countries, it is given in the form of purchased medicines often made by American companies. And that strategy of deciding where your donations gets spent doesn't always work out [slashdot.org] like you would expect.

    It's great he donates all that money but that method is never going to change anything. The real winners here are the companies that get huge cash infusions from the foundation in the form of investment (like Monsanto) and Big Pharma who gets the revenue from all the AIDS medicine that is bought and shipped. Exactly why are foreign governments investing in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation instead of finding a better solution?

    Bring on the "look a gift horse in the mouth" posts. They may be right but there has to be a better way to use this money to accomplish these goals. It's almost designed to be a perpetual medicine exporting machine.

    You are mixing up two things here. There's the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, and there's the Global Aids Fund.

    Bill Gates just donated money to the latter, which depends on donations from individual countries, is run out of Geneva (not by the Gates foundation) and has criticized for being poorly managed.

    The Gate Foundation invested in Monsanto, which is the link you provided, not the Global Aids fund. I'm not aware of foreign countries investing in the Gates Foundation.

    As unsavory as it might be for charities to be using donated money to invest, the purpose here is long-term viability. The purpose of the Gates Foundation is to fund things that might not show tangible results for decades that traditional, government-directed research and public health funds cannot address. This type of planning is pointless if you can't guarantee the Gates fund will be able to sustain funding for such projects on a decade timescale, which is simply not possible without some sort of long term financial investing. It would be nice if the inves

  • Re:You Know... (Score:5, Informative)

    by lgw (121541) on Friday January 27, 2012 @06:34PM (#38845875) Journal

    The Gates Foundation is about making a real and immediate difference in people's lives - giving existing cures to existing people, not research scams. As a result it has likely saved more lives than any other charity effort in history. But feel free to start your own charity foundation if you'd like to do things differently.

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