Saturday, December 01, 2007

World AIDS Day

I was pretty pleased to see a decent
Houston Chronicle editorial today, World AIDS day, calling for an end of requirements that a third of U.S. HIV prevention dollars be spent on abstinence-until-marriage programs. Their other recommendations, for once, I also support: increased attention to the comorbidity of TB and AIDS and a call to end the mandate that funded groups sign anti-prostitution pledges.

Yes, it's no joke. The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) announced with such fanfare by Bush four years ago at his State of the Union address, requires all grantees who wish to receive money to have comply with what has been called “The Prostitution Pledge. Hopefully my 2-3 loyal readers will immediately understand why this is a bad thing.

Of course it immediately brings to mind the
Mexico City Policy,
the policy that prevents global health organizations receiving USAID funding from providing or counseling for abortion or even advocating for abortion law reform in their home countries. While it's been rolled back a little recently relative to PEPFAR, the question now is: will it stay or will it go?

On the lighter side today, let's be thankful that there are people out there, that while honestly trying to change risky behaviors and reduce the incidence of HIV without the use of bullshit mandates, can still remind us that ultimately, those little latex things are actually....well, just funny.

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