Proposed Guidelines for Federal HIV Prevention Funding Would Require Approval of, Accountability for Educational Material
CDC on Wednesday proposed changes to guidelines for providing federal HIV prevention funding that would require groups to obtain approval of all educational materials before posting them on the Internet, the Washington Times reports. Under the proposed changes, grant recipients would be subject to increased accountability and would have to guarantee their compliance with a 2000 law requiring federal agencies to provide "medically accurate information" regarding the effectiveness of condoms in preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, according to the Times. CDC spokesperson Kathy Harben said that the changes were meant to "address technology advances, particularly the availability of information on the Internet." CDC over the next two months will take public comment on the proposed changes. Kate Krauss of the AIDS Policy Project said that the changes are "really bad and shocking" and they may violate the constitutional right to free speech. However, some members of Congress lauded the changes. "I applaud CDC for taking the necessary steps to update its materials regarding HIV/AIDS prevention," Rep. Dave Weldon (R-Fla.) said, adding, "Sadly, too many lives have been adversely impacted by relying on inaccurate information regarding the effectiveness of condoms to protect against STDs." Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) said he was "hopeful this will finally put an end to federally funded flirting classes and other programs of dubious value and outrageous content that have failed to prevent HIV" (Stacy McCain, Washington Times, 6/18).
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