August 13th, 2012

A Poll: Clintons vs Bush

Got this email recently from a former colleague who now does mostly international work:

Hey Paul — nice recap of the IAC conference. But I was wondering if you’d forgotten about someone very important when you wrote, “I can’t think of any major politicians who have done more for HIV than the Clintons.”
Um, how about George W. Bush?
Thanks for considering,

It’s a fair point, and I confess I didn’t think of Bush when I wrote that sentence — but should have. The impact of PEPFAR has been absolutely huge (recent summary here), and I’m nearly 100% sure when the history books are written about Bush II’s presidency, this will stand as his greatest accomplishment.

(But then I would think that.)

Meanwhile, the Clinton Foundation and Hillary’s advocacy for HIV patients while Secretary of State are also very impressive.

So what’s your view?

Between the Clintons (collectively) and George W. Bush, who has done more for HIV/AIDS?

View Results

10 Responses to “A Poll: Clintons vs Bush”

  1. Amy says:

    I take some exception to this survey. With the prevailing climate of toxic partisanship, does our opinion on this really matter? What matters is that the actions Clintons and Bush have helped us get to the point where there is perhaps a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Amazing, really.

    • Paul Sax says:


      I agree it’s amazing that we’ve gone from politicians in high office who wouldn’t even mention AIDS to those who can legitimately list their support of HIV treatment as one of their crowning achievements! Maybe I should have put in a third choice, “It’s a tie!”


  2. Christina K says:

    People look at HIV prevention and treatment separate from maternal morbidity/mortality, family planning, and contraception, as if working towards one does not include the other. Some advocates in women’s health, including myself, believe that funding and efforts should address both HIV and women’s health (Contraception, child spacing, safe abortion access) together in order to improve the health and well being of families and communities. To this end, Clinton did more by repealing the Mexico City policy and supporting reproductive health; therefore, the Clintons win hands down.

  3. Chris says:

    From volunteer medical work in Nigeria, I can say the local MDs consider Bush’s contribution to HIV treatment and prevention incomparable and poorly reported in the media, as opposed to the coverage for the Clintons. So Bush by a landslide.

  4. Nona says:

    Good to see that both Republicans and Democrats have been supportive of HIV prevention and treatment which is really critical to survival of the human race globally. In the same breath I will mention that I think the Clintons are remarkable in their continuing caring work throughout the world.

  5. DD RN says:

    I have to confess that I am a little confused by the assumption that we should look to the president (or any other politician) as a major factor in treating or preventing any disease. Yes, I understand that politicians do influence government support (or lack thereof) of public health initiatives and that is significant. However, if we look to elected officials to be the source of solutions to medical problems, we might be setting ourselves up for disappointment.

  6. Fred Rushton says:

    How about a 4th choice?: “How can anyone know?”

  7. Stephen says:

    Actions for the sake of actions without photo ops and fanfare often leave you forgotten in this day and age. (As well as a reporter who might prefer it that way) Some Africans and othet people who work wih HIV/AIDS in Africa are aware of the value and impact of PEPFAR.

  8. Buck Pridgen says:

    Neither. Why is it so very hard to hold the folks responsible are the folks who either have the disease, or, are rolling the dice for acquisition????????

  9. Krispin says:

    The Clintons. For any gain that GWB contributed to global HIV control, it was more than offset by the overall global disaster that was his presidency.

HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

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