Some AIDS Prevention Groups Working in Africa Upset Over Limits on U.S. Funding, ‘The World’ Reports
Although HIV/AIDS prevention workers in Africa are "grateful for the influx of funding" from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, some do not agree with conditions specifying how the money can be spent, "The World" -- a production of BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston -- reported on Thursday. Some health workers say the U.S. has "piled on the funding" for programs that promote abstinence and monogamy but has "piled on constraints" for programs involving condoms. Stand-alone condom-promotion campaigns that fail to mention abstinence are no longer eligible for U.S. funding, and HIV prevention programs targeting children under age 15 cannot mention condoms unless the children are considered to be at "high risk" of HIV infection. U.S. Ambassador Randall Tobias, head of the State Department Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, said it is "inappropriate to give kids at that age a circumstance that they perceive as a choice. ... That's not the message that we're trying to deliver to children at that age." However, a "significant number" of primary school students in Africa already are sexually active, and many teenagers and adults attend primary school, which several developing countries now provide at no cost, leading to more interactions between the different age groups. Aggrey David Kibenge, coordinator of HIV/AIDS activities for Uganda's Ministry of Education & Sports, said it is the right of primary school students "to know about the condom as one of the prevention measures" for HIV/AIDS. The PRI segment also includes comments from Gwendolyn Morgan, an adviser for Population Services International in Nairobi; Lucy Njoroge, manager of abstinence programs in Kenya for World Relief, a U.S.-based aid organization affiliated with the National Association of Evangelicals; and the co-founder of an abstinence program in Uganda who supports including information about condoms in abstinence programs (Fink, "The World," PRI, 7/21).
The complete segment is available online in Windows Media.