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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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  • Good work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jcreus (2547928) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:31PM (#38844409)
    Even the general Slashdot feeling towards Microsoft, it is true that his (and Melinda's) work is great. Let's hope he keeps it up!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:40PM (#38844523)

    Unless you're raped, or your spouse cheats, or you live in a part of the world where people of your gender don't have much control over that and other aspects of their life.

  • by tverbeek (457094) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:40PM (#38844527) Homepage

    You're a fucking idiot who knows nothing about how pervasive HIV is in parts of the Third World.

  • by jcreus (2547928) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:44PM (#38844605)
    Where very unlucky is a great part of Africa's population and other countries?
  • by allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:45PM (#38844625)

    Some people are born with aids.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:46PM (#38844649) Journal

    Even the general Slashdot feeling towards Microsoft, it is true that his (and Melinda's) work is great. Let's hope he keeps it up!

    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.

  • by Roobles (1880882) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:49PM (#38844689)
    It may be easy to avoid in first world countries, but that's not always the case in third world countries. Lack of sanitary conditions in medical facilities, and lack of education can be major contributing factors. But what about transfer of HIV from mother to infant at birth? What about rape? What about a complete lack of publicly available HIV tests, so it's not known who is infected and who isn't?
  • He can't win (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jholyhead (2505574) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:55PM (#38844785)
    Bill Gates could literally cure cancer, eradicate AIDS and make Malaria piss itself and people would still be giving him grief about Windows, IE6 or ripping off Apple.
  • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:14PM (#38845001) Homepage

    I think you miss the benefit of the "tax shelter" if the money you wish to "shelter" doesn't belong to you anymore.

  • by RazzleFrog (537054) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:37PM (#38845309)

    I thought some surgeon came out and said that he had a highly treatable form or cancer but decided to do the alternative treatments first instead of the more scientifically based ones and it got worse.

  • Why only AIDS? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Skylax (1129403) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:40PM (#38845345)
    Man, with that kind of money you could probably fund almost all experiments currently running in the world.
    I mean think about it, with the exception of large scale experiments like Tevatron or LHC, Bill Gates could fund almost the entire physics research currently active in the world.

    I wonder why he is so focused on curing AIDS, when he could practically double the world research output in all other fields? It seems to me, that this could have much larger impact on a larger group of people.
    I mean Africa is a fucked up place with or without AIDS, Malaria and so on (which are just syptoms of more complex socio-economic problems). You can probably dump billions of dollars in this continent, and all you'd get in return is more powerful warlords, more intensive and brutal ethnic/religous conflicts and a few very rich people, who get a little richer.
  • by bws111 (1216812) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:43PM (#38845383)

    Buying stock does not cause ANY money to be put 'in the companies coffers', unless it is newly issued stock (which is rare). Whoever owned the stock before you has the money. You, in turn, have an asset that will hopefully earn you more than you paid for it, over time. That worth could be realized as income from dividends or from sale of the stock at a higher price than you paid.

    Germany buying stock in a German company in no way helps the company, so what is the point of doing it?

    Why do other countries contribute to the foundation? Because they trust that the money will be managed and spent wisely. Could they do the same things themselves? Of course - but what makes you think they would do any better managing or spending the money?

    Do they NEED to invest the money? Of course not - they could keep it in the proverbial vault and dole it out to orgs as needed. However, that would GUARANTEE that the money will eventually run out. With well-managed money you can theoretically continue handing out money forever.

  • by lgw (121541) on Friday January 27, 2012 @06:19PM (#38845721) Journal

    And how much did you give to charity, exactly? The Gates foundation is extremely focused on making sure the money it spends produces real results in helping people. If you did give money to charity, did you do the same? Do you think a child receiving a malaria vaccination gives half a shit where it was made? Have you ever done anything worthwhile in your entire life?

  • by MHolmesIV (253236) on Friday January 27, 2012 @09:39PM (#38847281)

    In South Africa (Where a lot of these funds will be used) 30% of pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in 2010 were HIV+. A lot of those children will be HIV positive. Even more of them would have been if not for the treatments and funding from organizations like the AIDS fund.

    In 2008, almost six hundred thousand people died from AIDS in South Africa (That's 1% of the population, by the way, _in a single year_). The year before that? The same. And the year before that? Also the same.

    (I was in the first responder community in south africa many years ago, and the only statistic more scary than the HIV+ rate among people admitted to one very large hospital was it's corresponding Hepatitus B rate)

    With that in mind, do you see why I find your flippant comment just a little annoying and condescending?

    From: http://www.avert.org/south-africa-hiv-aids-statistics.htm [avert.org]

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