Bush Administration’s ‘Grotesque’ HIV Prevention Policy Causes More HIV Infections, Opinion Piece Says
The Bush administration's abstinence-only HIV prevention policy is "nothing short of grotesque," and the administration should "hang its head in shame" for "continuing to propound views about preventing AIDS that not only don't minimize infections but, in a perverse way, guarantee there [will] be more of them," David Brudnoy, a communication professor at Boston University and founder of the David Brudnoy Fund for AIDS Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, writes in a Boston Globe opinion piece. "I am outraged by our government's position of imposing more restrictions on AIDS education by slamming down hard on information about and availability of condoms," Brudnoy, who is HIV-positive, writes, adding that "those who know what causes AIDS know that condoms are a usually effective barrier to the virus's transmission." Brudnoy says that "abstinence works" as a way to prevent HIV infection and that "the scientific community is not against abstinence." However, Brudnoy adds that "pretending that young people wouldn't have sex" if sex education were "watered down" or eliminated is "a cruel fantasy." Brudnoy commends Uganda for "wisely" implementing an HIV prevention policy that urges abstinence, monogamy and condom use. "Politics and ideology trumping science is nothing new," Brudnoy writes, concluding that "the Bush administration ... has carried this to the farthest extreme" (Brudnoy, Boston Globe, 9/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.