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[afro-nets] US AIDS Funding - promote abstinence, fidelity

  • From: Leela McCullough <leela@healthnet.org>
  • Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 13:51:52 -0500

US AIDS Funding - promote abstinence, fidelity

Global AIDS Coordinator Document Provides Guidelines for Funding
that would Increase Amount Spent on Abstinence, Fidelity

13 Dec 2005

An Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator directive that
took effect on Oct. 1 provides guidelines on how federal funding
for international HIV/AIDS programs that work to prevent sexual
transmission of the virus must be used and would increase the
amount of U.S. funding countries spend on programs that promote
abstinence and fidelity, the Baltimore Sun reports. The document
was provided to the Sun by an unnamed federal AIDS official who
thought that U.S. international HIV prevention efforts would be
hindered by the new policy.

According to the document, which outlines how fiscal year 2006
money should be spent, "66% of resources dedicated to prevention
of HIV from sexual transmission must be used for activities that
promote abstinence before marriage and fidelity." Under the
guidelines, at least half of total prevention funding must be
spent on sexual transmission initiatives, with the remainder go-
ing toward programs that prevent HIV transmission from mother to
child or through the blood supply.

Many countries last year spent much more than half of their to-
tal prevention budgets on sexual transmission programs, meaning
that the policy change will increase funding for abstinence pro-
grams while "implicitly set[ting] tighter limits on spending for
condoms," according to the Sun. The FY 2005 budget included $295
million for international HIV prevention programs, and that
amount likely will be increased in FY 2006, the Sun reports.

Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Mark Dybul said the decree
aims to make HIV programs adhere to legal requirements of the
President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which call for at
least one-third of overall prevention funding to be spent on ab-
stinence programs. This year, only one such programs, the Sun
reports. Dybul said that the directive is a "guidance" and is
not inflexible, adding that the decision would correct an ine-
quality. The unnamed official that provided the report said that
agency officials are treating the policy change as a rigid or-
der, the Sun reports (Kohn, Baltimore Sun, 12/10).

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Leela McCullough, Ed.D.
Director of Information Services
30 California Street, Watertown, MA 02472, USA
Tel: +1-617-926-9400
Fax: +1-617-926-1212