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November 10, 2008

Obama’s Global AIDS Policy to Promote Condom Use

President-elect Barack Obama will reverse U.S. family planning and AIDS-prevention strategies that have long linked global funding to antiabortion policies and abstinence education, Bloomberg reports.

President George W. Bush’s $45 billion President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) brought HIV medication to 3 million people in poor countries such as Rwanda and Uganda but still requires health workers to emphasize abstinence from sex over condoms. It’s a policy that has set back sexually transmitted disease prevention and family planning globally, according to Susan F. Wood, co-chairman of Obama’s advisory committee for women’s health.

Gill Greer, director general of the International Planned Pregnancy Federation in London, agreed. “The U.S. administration has certainly succeeded in demonizing condoms rather than showing that they can be part of prevention of both unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections,” Greer said.

While both Democrats and Republicans indicated support for PEPFAR’s focus on abstinence, which has also been shown to reduce the spread of HIV, others maintain that the decision to focus on abstinence was “ naïve and dangerous” and that it neglected prevention techniques with the most science behind them, said Mitchell Warren, executive director of the New York-based AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition

Wood said that Obama is committed to family planning services—both in the U.S. and the developing world—that help prevent unintended pregnancy, reduce maternal and infant mortality and prevent the spread of disease.

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  comments 1 - 4 (of 4 total)    

Robert, New York, 2008-11-12 19:55:34
This is GREAT! I hope that we can add condom sizes in safer sex ed now. Some guys stop using condoms because the standard ones are too big or too small. Men have condom choices from small to XL.

Greg H., Modesto, CA, 2008-11-12 15:30:13
This is fantastic news, and reinforces my feelings that there will be many improvements in the new administration!

Dave D, Nashville, TN, 2008-11-11 15:11:41
Finally! Some common sense in attacking the spread of HIV. As an HIV educator fo over 20 years, I've learned that giving only one option just doesn't work. We have always preached abstinence in our talks as the very best sure-fire way to halt transmission; but, then encouraged condoms as the next best thing. Humans are sexual and giving them options is the right thing to do. Hurrah for our President-elect!

Harland, Morristown, 2008-11-11 10:45:20
This policy needs more changes. More help and resources for american familes and house holds. To have more upfront dialogue with the public and mainstream media. To many americans ow with HIV+ and not enought help. We need to break the cycle and stigme in the african amercain south and in the african american churches. We need more than just Dec 1 . WE need to push hard for a bill that will help bring one full month of hiv and aids awareness and show advancemtn in med and living longer.

comments 1 - 4 (of 4 total)    

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