Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Abstinence-only requirement hurting HIV/AIDS fight in Africa

(updated below)

Read it here. Money quote:

The United States Government Accountability Office recently concluded U.S. health field teams are less effective than they could be because they must heavily promote abstinence as a primary means to stop the spread of AIDS.

The guidelines—imposed by Congress and enforced by the Bush administration’s Global AIDS Coordinator—require that field teams spend 33 percent of their prevention funds on programs that advocate abstinence or monogamy within marriage. AIDS activists have long criticized such messages because marriage is not an option for gays.

Field teams interviewed for the GAO report dated April 4 said the requirement precludes them from using their prevention funds in more effective ways, like delivering comprehensive messages that include information about condom use.

According to the report, 17 of 20 country teams said the spending requirement challenges "their ability to respond to local prevention needs." The requirement also is impeding work in certain "focus countries," where the epidemic is most severe.

UPDATE: The original GAO report, dated April 4, 2006, can be found here (pdf, 93 pages).

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Yes, George Bush is a good conservative (self)righteous Christian. Can't have us saving all those Africans by teaching them to use condoms. Nope, it's OK if they die from AIDS as long as they're not fornicating, right George?