Since human migrations began, germs have traveled with people, animals and traded goods. In an interconnected and mobile world, diseases such as HIV/AIDS and SARS can spread rapidly. Yet international cooperation through agencies such as the World Health Organization also allows for a collective response to global health threats and faster response times. Nations have developed diverse health care systems, aiming for cost-effective treatment. Yet the diverse systems contribute to disparities in global health, including availability of technology, pharmaceutical companies targeting innovations to maximize profits, and providers abandoning areas of need for higher salaries in the West, just to name a few.

U.S. Speeding Up Approval Steps for AIDS Drugs

To blunt criticism at annual WHO meeting, US is willing to make concessions
Lawrence K. Altman
May 17, 2004

HIV Case Airs Secrets of Porn Industry

US-Brazil industry ties sour after virus spreads
Alan Clendenning
April 29, 2004

SARS Threatens Reappearance in China

Authorities respond swiftly to suspected case
Helen Pearson
April 23, 2004

Echoes of Panic over Global Disease

Question health officials' worries over epidemics
Philip Bowring
February 17, 2004

Thailand Concedes Missteps on Bird Flu

Prime Minister Urges Transparency, Cooperation Following Denials of Outbreak
Alan Sipress
January 29, 2004