May 28, 2008
Demanding Family Planning for PEPFAR
The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) reauthorization bill should address the importance of family-planning programs in HIV/AIDS care and treatment, says Pat Daoust, a nurse and the Health Action AIDS Campaign director for Physicians for Human Rights, in a Boston Globe opinion piece (boston.com, 5/26).
“The bill coming before the Senate makes no mention of linking HIV and family-planning services,” says Daoust. “To avoid controversy with conservative policymakers, the bill’s Democratic drafters left linkages out completely.”
According to Daoust, contrary to popular beliefs that “family planning” is a code word for abortion, family planning and reproductive health services include prenatal care, safe labor and delivery, postpartum and newborn care, access to contraception and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. “Linking women's health care with HIV services should be obvious,” she says.
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