‘Political Considerations’ Should Not Limit U.S. HIV/AIDS Prevention Measures in Developing Countries, Editorial Says
The Bush administration should not allow "political considerations to get in the way of practical and effective" HIV/AIDS prevention strategies, including the use of condoms, in developing countries, a St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial says. Although abstinence has played a role in Uganda's "striking success" in reducing its HIV/AIDS prevalence, experts say that Uganda's strategy is "more complex," relying on the "ABC" -- abstain, be faithful, or use condoms -- approach, according to the Post-Dispatch. President Bush should not pursue his "shortsighted, ideologically driven" policy that allocates one-third of the money pledged for prevention programs under the $15 billion global AIDS plan to abstinence-only programs, the Post-Dispatch says. In developing countries such as Thailand, where HIV primarily is spread among commercial sex workers, "condoms have had a big impact," the editorial says. Although "abstinence is effective," millions of people do not abstain from sex, and "condom use is a far safer option than unprotected sex," the editorial says. As the experiences of Uganda and other countries have shown, "flexible, multifaceted" HIV/AIDS prevention strategies that target social traditions and sexual practices "can be highly effective," the editorial concludes (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 5/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.