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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 @03:31PM (#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 MrEricSir (398214) on Friday January 27, 2012 @03:34PM (#38844459) Homepage

      ...this still doesn't make up for IE6.

    • 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

      • by bws111 (1216812) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:43PM (#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.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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 n

      • by lgw (121541) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:19PM (#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 robotkid (681905) <alanc2052&yahoo,com> on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:27PM (#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

      • Why do coutnries pay into this foundation that invests primarily in American funds and stocks?

        Er, the countries are (or were) contributing to the "The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria", not the Gates Foundation.

        And buying already existing shares in a company does not give the company a "huge cash injection".

        Perhaps the Gates Foundation is worthy of some criticism but if you do want to be taken seriously and not be called "full of bullshit" you should, well, not be full of bullshit!

      • > Why do coutnries pay into this foundation...

        The Bill & Melinda Gates foundation doesn't lie about how they're spending money, unlike many charities. They also are managed in an intelligent way--intelligent enough that two of the most successful men in the world have donated the bulk of their wealth to it. Contributing to antimalarial work, for example, makes an incredible difference in the lives of millions of people. In the developed world we tend to think of people as ill or not ill; in develo

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      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!

      We may not like the way he made so much money, but atleast he's spending it well.

    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:04PM (#38844899)

      Bill contributed to an AIDS fund, not a "Stop AIDS" fund. Windows viruses were just the start of his reign of terror!

    • ID too high, shut up.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 27, 2012 @03:32PM (#38844427)

    steve jobs doesn't donate to charity, dies of cancer

    • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Friday January 27, 2012 @03:48PM (#38844671) Homepage Journal
      In all fairness, and despite this being wildly off topic, Jobs died of cancer because he refused treatment.
      • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:22PM (#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 RazzleFrog (537054) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:37PM (#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.

        • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:43PM (#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.

          • This is crazy. I'm not saying it always makes sense, on a personal level, to go along with a doc's rec--I might choose not to have chemo if it involves going through living hell and I'm very likely to die anyway--but when you have cancer, you find the best surgeon in your part of the world (or go elsewhere if there are no good surgeons near you) and get the f'ing thing OUT of your body.

  • say what you will about bill gates and microsoft and windows, the truth is that in his post-microsoft life than nearly any other individual, and certainly more than his frenemy Steve Jobs. Talk about an ambitious agenda - cure malaria, cure aids. Big ideas that would literally help a billion people.
    • by noh8rz2 (2538714)
      subject should have read, "in philanthropy, bill gates >> steve jobs."
      • by gandhi_2 (1108023)

        are bill gates and steve jobs unsigned or signed integers? I tried it, but i think the endianness is screwing me up.

        • I don't know about unsigned or not; but both people are irrational.

          (but for this, though: bill gets an attaboy; and its well deserved for doing good with all that money he has.)

  • Mr Gates, I just need $10000. You spend that on car insurance every month. I could do so much with that money. You spend that on massages every month. I could do wonders that that money. You spend that on starbucks every month. It would be easy for you.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      he spends 10G at Star Bucks?
      so, 5000 cups a month?
      166 cups a day?
      6 cups an hour?
      a cup every 10 minutes ever hour?

      Nonsense, everyone knows that after 100th cup, you gain speedster abilities.

    • I'm sure if you had a real case to present him, you could get that money. Begging and saying "This money means nothing to you, you wouldn't miss it at all" to a person who knows the value of money doesn't sound very productive towards that goal.

  • R.I.P Juan Epstein [slashdot.org]
  • He can't win (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jholyhead (2505574) on Friday January 27, 2012 @03:55PM (#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.
    • 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.

      I don't really think he's doing it to win. I also don't think he really gives a shit what people think about about the above mentioned 'sins'. If I had so much money that I could give three quarters of a BILLION dollars to charity and still have enough left over to pack a car completely full of $100 bills, I think it's far past the point of needing to prove myself to anybody.

      • I'm not suggesting that he does care, only that the animosity people feel towards Gates is ridiculous, particularly when you consider that he is one of the world's most prolific philanthropists.

        Many men would move to Bali and sip cocktails or buy islands or build statues of themselves, but Gates has dedicated himself to doing what he can for those who need help the most. Fuck petty patent wars and crappy consumer electronics with a 12 month obsolescence cycle - Bill Gates is doing work that really matter
    • by troff (529250)
      He would've won, if he hadn't been such a bastard for the first 45 years of his life (or at least from when he started coding school systems to put him into classes with more girls until he finally released most of his executive power from Microsoft).
      • by ld a,b (1207022)

        at least from when he started coding school systems to put him into classes with more girls

        That is more "fucking awsome" than "bastard", even if today it would get his ass raped in some federal prison.
        I'd say coding a BASIC interpreter in 4kb using paper and an emulator you hacked up for an unreleased platform is pretty cool as well.
        Then he started hearing calls from the dark side and the rest is History.

        All in all, I think he is an admirable man if only in the same category as Genghis Khan - who also did a lot genetic health related work for Eurasian people.

        • by troff (529250)
          I take your point; except I think the scale slides back to "fucking bastard" away from "fucking awesome" precisely because according to History, he heeded those calls from the Dark Side. Just because you have mad skillz doesn't make you Good when you use your powers for evil.
      • You're just pissed because you didn't think of doing it.
  • Why only AIDS? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Skylax (1129403)
    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 Afri
    • by AbRASiON (589899) *

      He's trying a soft approach to win back some of the mac converts he lost, who are statistically more likely to get aids,.............

    • You have no heart at all. We should just let everyone who has these conditions die and focus on physics instead. Got it. I mean it's not like any first world countries have to deal with things like AIDS and TB.

    • One word: Focus. Trying to throw blanket solutions around really doesn't work. Plus, this isn't his only charity direction.

  • How much of this money actually goes towards research? You'd think with the billions of dollars that have been poured into this disease over the past 2 decades there'd be an actual cure by now.
    • Re:You Know... (Score:5, Informative)

      by lgw (121541) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:34PM (#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.

  • As long as he donates it we can ignore how he got it? (illegally)

  • The first time Bill Gates actually did anything useful about a virus infection!

    Ba dump bump! Thank you, I'll be here all week. Be sure to tip your waitress. Try the veal.

  • Let's not forget that the reason developing countries can't cheaply manufacture their own AIDS medication is that the TRIPS agreement, which Gates was a major back of, requires them to respect the patents of the richest countries.

  • Bill made software that got me stuck with his crappy product.
    Windows (2003) and active directory do not offer nearly enough management knobs/tools/etc to straighten out even the simplest issues with active directory. It doesn't show that sync stopped. (but it does beep on crashes of services, unstarted services, full disks, swap file, etc etc etc and do not forghet the windows updates that cream at ya to reboot again)
    This overlooked corner makes windows unfit for the enterprise.
    Now that Bill tries to do

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