Abstaining from reality

A harrowingly detailed post from TerranceDC of The Republic of T (the post-title is his) about the way that AIDS education and prevention programmes worldwide, but especially in Africa, have been sabotaged by the Bush Administration’s insistence on not only solely funding “abstinence education” themselves, but actively defunding any organisation that wishes to use non-USA funds to educate about safe sex.

Just one of his example:

Crushing news out of Uganda last week. The Bush administration’s $1 billion experiment in using abstinence messages as the basis of HIV prevention has born its first fruit: In a public speech on May 18, Uganda’s AIDS Commissioner Kihumuro Apuuli announced that HIV infections have almost doubled in Uganda over the past two years, from 70,000 in 2003 to 130,000 in 2005. And despite this chilling wake-up call, Bush has empowered Christian right activists to continue to push their abstinence-only agenda at a UN Special Session on HIV/AIDS, to begin next week. According to a State Department email I obtained, the official U.S. delegation is stacked with some of the very people who contributed to the debacle in Uganda.

Uganda was once an HIV prevention success story, where an ambitious government-sponsored prevention campaign, including massive condom distribution and messages about delaying sex and reducing numbers of partners, pushed HIV rates down from 15 percent in the early 1990s to 5 percent in 2001. But conservative evangelicals rewrote this history–with the full-throated cooperation of Uganda’s evangelical first family, the Musevenis.

TerranceDC finds it difficult to finally utter the word, letting another quote do it for him, but the question has to be asked: aren’t policies which deliberately increase the numbers of African people dying from AIDS a form of genocide?

Please, read the whole thing.

Categories: culture wars, ethics & philosophy, health, Politics, religion

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2 replies

  1. Maybe they’ll get so incensed that they decide to take a more active role in Uganda. That’ll end well.
    I’m usually an internationalist, but I want the current US administration to do as little as possible in its remaining time, because the Bushies seem to fuck up everything they touch. Americans should do more to fight the spread of HIV. But not the Americans in charge. Best to lie low and wait for them to go away.
    MSF, UNICEF, WHO, the whole alphabet soup — there are good people fighting the good fight, and many of them are Americans. We’re not a bad people. We just have a bad government. Working on that.

  2. We’re not a bad people. We just have a bad government. Working on that.
    Believe me, I know there’s plenty of good people in your country. I’m very careful with my terms regarding the distinction between the current administration and the rest.

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