International AIDS Bill Faces Risk of ‘Narrow Conservative Agenda,’ Akron Beacon Journal Editorial Says
A House international AIDS bill (HR 1298) that would authorize funding for global HIV/AIDS programs "remains vulnerable to groups determined to impose a narrow conservative agenda," according to an Akron Beacon Journal editorial (Akron Beacon Journal, 4/13). The House International Relations Committee on April 2 approved 37-8 an amended version of the bill, sponsored by committee chair Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), that would authorize $15 billion over five years to fight global AIDS. The bill would allocate $3 billion a year for five years for international HIV/AIDS programs, with up to $1 billion in fiscal year 2004 going to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Conservative advocates and House representatives are encouraging the House Energy and Commerce Committee to draft an international AIDS bill to compete with the measure (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/9). The Beacon Journal says that some conservative groups are calling for a "bigger role" for faith-based programs, "no mention of condom programs because they promote prostitution and more prominence for abstinence education." However, Hyde's bill recognizes "common-sense" prevention programs, including education and controlling sex trade, according to the editorial. The Beacon Journal concludes, "People are dying. Money and timely intervention, including practical programs such as access to condoms and family planning, are of the essence. A misguided agenda should not block passage of the bill" (Akron Beacon Journal, 4/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.