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AIDS treatment made easy

AIDS drugLast week, the FDA approved a new drug to combat AIDS that is expected to help in the global fight against the virus. The new drug combines three of the most widely used AIDS treatments into a once-a-day pill. Traditionally, AIDS patients take a variety of drugs at varying times throughout the day to combat the effects of the virus. By simplifying treatment options, patients are more likely to stick to their drug regimen and less likely to develop drug-resistant AIDS strains (which can occur if a patient misses just five percent of their recommended drug doses).

People were talking about once-a-day as a magical, wonderful, far-off moment," said Craig Thompson, executive director of AIDS Project Los Angeles. "It was one of those things we were waiting for, and we've done a great job in getting there."

The FDA says the drug will be available as part of President Bush's $15 billion effort to combat AIDS in the developing world. In other positive news for global AIDS treatment, Gilead, one of the makers of the new drug, plans to slash prices for its other AIDS drugs for middle-income countries, such as Mexico. In a press release praising Gilead's move, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation argues that with all the attention focused on combating AIDS in the developing world, middle-income countries are often left paying the U.S. price tag for AIDS treatment, a price they can rarely afford.

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George Will savages neocons, dog bites mailman

GeorgeWillThe chattering classes are salivating over George Will's assault on the Weekly Standard in his WaPo column today. Now, I must confess that one of my pet peeves in life is how everyone treats it as news when Will criticizes the neoconservatives. Will has never been a neocon and has been being critical of them for years. Obviously, this doesn't invalidate his criticisms--it just means that it is no more surprising when he attacks them than when his fellow WaPo columnist Richard Cohen does. 

In June 2003, as the neocons celebrated the rapid military victory in Iraq, Will wrote: "Some say the war was justified even if WMDs are not found nor their destruction explained, because the world is "better off" without Saddam Hussein. Of course it is better off. But unless one is prepared to postulate a U.S. right, perhaps even a duty, to militarily dismantle any tyranny--on to Burma?--it is unacceptable to argue that Saddam's mass graves and torture chambers suffice as retrospective justifications for preemptive war." Then in August of that year, he laid into Tony Blair's speech to Congress which had been met with a resounding standing ovation by both Congress and the punditocracy. Discussing Blair's belief that Western values are universal, he opined that "[n]eoconservatives seem more susceptible than plain conservatives are to such dodgy rhetoric and false assertions."

Anyway, I doubt that the facts will get in the way of the narrative here. Get ready for a thousand columns that begin "Even conservative commentator George Will thinks the neoconservatives have gone too far"--except, that is, in the Weekly Standard, where you probably won't be reading Will any time soon either.