Laura Bush Calls U.S. Global HIV-Prevention Effort ‘Very Fair Divide’ Among Abstinence, Faithfulness, Condoms
First lady Laura Bush on Sunday called the U.S. global HIV-prevention effort "a very fair divide," saying, "The whole plan all along has been Uganda's plan which is the ABC -- abstinence, be faithful and the correct and consistent use of condoms, Reuters AlertNet reports. Bush's statement was in response to critics who believe the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief "leans too heavily on the promotion of abstinence and fails to place enough emphasis on condoms," according to Reuters AlertNet reports. Speaking to reporters at the start of a four-day trip to Liberia, Ghana and Nigeria, Bush said, "I'm always a little bit irritated when I hear the criticism of abstinence, because abstinence is absolutely 100% effective in eradicating a sexually transmitted disease" (Wilson, Reuters AlertNet, 1/15). She added, "In many countries where girls feel obligated to comply with the wishes of men, girls need to know that abstinence is a choice" (Sammon, Washington Times, 1/16). Bush on Tuesday visited a clinic in Ghana that treats HIV-positive patients and met with children whose parents have died from HIV/AIDS-related causes or who are HIV-positive (Riechmann, AP/USA Today, 1/15). Bush also is scheduled to deliver antiretroviral drugs at St. Mary's Hospital in Nigeria, which she said is "one of the first hospitals that PEPFAR had a strong association with" (US Fed News, 1/15).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.