ActionAid To Release Book About HIV Prevention, Youth at AIDS ConferenceActionAid next week during the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City plans to release a book that examines how political concerns are hindering efforts to provide young people worldwide with HIV prevention education, VOA News reports (De Capua, VOA News, 7/28).
The book, titled "The Politics of Prevention -- A Global Crisis in AIDS and Education," was written by David Archer, international head of education at ActionAid, and Tania Boler, researcher on HIV and education (Fentiman, Press Association, 7/28). "The field of HIV and AIDS is one where it is now become very clear that although we cannot cure HIV and AIDS, it can be prevented very easily with basic information (and) basic education," Archer said, adding, "But unfortunately, large numbers of children around the world aren't able to access that education, and that is as a result of political elements in a number of ways" (VOA News, 7/28). According to the book, some conservative governments, including the U.S., are focusing aid for HIV/AIDS prevention efforts on abstinence and undermining condom use. In addition, the book criticizes the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations for their approaches in providing HIV/AIDS education to vulnerable populations (Press Association, 7/28).
According to Archer, HIV/AIDS drug and treatment access have received "a lot of attention" in recent years, which has "clearly been very important." However, prevention efforts have become "increasingly political and increasingly sensitive," Archer said (VOA News, 7/28). Boler added that political concerns are unlikely to be resolved at the AIDS conference. "Successful HIV prevention involves talking frankly about controversial issues like young people's sexuality or condoms or homosexuality," she said, adding, "But conservative governments are using their aid money to distort scientific understanding, spreading the abstinence-only message with very little scientific evidence to support it" (Press Association, 7/28).
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