President Bush Must Not Allow AIDS Research To Become Politicized, Columnist Says
President Bush must not allow members of his administration to politicize science by "using budgets, advisory committees and the fear of embarrassment to chill the way" research on AIDS is conducted, syndicated columnist Nicholas Kristof writes in a New York Times opinion piece (Kristof, New York Times, 5/9). Federal officials from NIH and CDC have reportedly warned scientists who research AIDS and other diseases to eliminate certain words considered to be "politically controversial" from their grant applications to those agencies. AIDS researchers last month said that officials warned them that the use of words such as "sex workers," "men who sleep with men," "anal sex" and "needle exchange" could cause their applications to come under increased scrutiny by HHS or members of Congress (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/18). The president must "make it clear that he is on the side of scientists," Kristoff says, concluding, "Too many Americans have already died of AIDS to allow promising fields of research to wither because some Americans get the willies when they see terms like 'anal sex'" (New York Times, 5/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.