U.S. Funding Cuts for Condoms, Abstinence Promotion ‘Hindering’ ABC Prevention Programs, Advocates Say, NPR Reports
Some HIV/AIDS advocates are saying that the Bush administration's emphasis on promoting abstinence and fidelity in HIV/AIDS prevention programs and efforts to "de-emphasize" the use of condoms is "hindering" programs adopting the HIV prevention method known as "ABC" -- which stands for abstinence, be faithful and use condoms -- NPR's "All Things Considered" reports (Wilson, "All Things Considered," NPR, 12/29/05). An Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator directive that took effect on Oct. 1, 2005, provides guidelines on how fiscal year 2006 federal funding for international HIV/AIDS programs that work to prevent sexual transmission of the virus must be used. The document says that "66% of resources dedicated to prevention of HIV from sexual transmission must be used for activities that promote abstinence before marriage and fidelity" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/12/05). Jodi Jacobson, director of the Center for Health and Gender Equity, said that condom procurement, distribution and social marketing have been "shifted and redirected" from the general population to so-called "high-risk populations" and HIV/AIDS prevention programs are sending "inconsistent messages." Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Mark Dybul said the Bush administration supports programs using all three ABC methods, and although financial reports must reflect how much funding went for each component of ABC, "that doesn't mean you don't have a program that covers all of them." The segment includes comments from Stephen Morrison, director of the Africa division at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Shepherd Smith, board member of the Children's AIDS Fund, which supports faith-based HIV/AIDS programs ("All Things Considered," NPR, 12/29/05).
The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.