Editorials Debate HHS Audits of AIDS Groups That Protested Thompson Speech at International AIDS Conference
Two newspapers published editorials today commenting on the recent federal audits of a number of AIDS groups. The San Francisco-based Stop AIDS Project is under review because of allegations that the group is using federal funds for projects that encourage sexual activity and meet the definition of obscenity. Meanwhile, some Republican House members have requested an audit of more than a dozen AIDS organizations, many of which participated in a protest against HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson during the XIV International AIDS Conference. A summary of the editorials appears below:
- Kansas City Star: The House members requesting the audit of the groups that protested during the conference do not have "a good enough reason" for doing so, a Kansas City Star editorial states. The editorial says that while there were "better ways" for the protesters to make their points than by drowning out Thompson's speech and Thompson handled the situation correctly by meeting with the organizations after the protest, the audit "is nothing less than a threat" (Kansas City Star, 8/20).
- San Francisco Chronicle: Two San Francisco AIDS groups are "in hot water with the federal government," albeit for different reasons, a Chronicle editorial states. The editorial cites the recent federal audits of the Stop AIDS Project and Project Inform, which was one the groups protesting Thompson during the conference. The editorial, noting that members of the groups met with Thompson following the protest, says that dialogue should continue between Thompson and the HIV/AIDS organizations, concluding, "The agenda of a handful of conservatives in Congress can't be placed ahead of the lives of millions of people in the United States and abroad threatened by a still-frightening epidemic" (San Francisco Chronicle, 8/20).