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Bill to Strike Abstinence Earmark from PEPFAR

Breaking News: Today Senators Feinstein and Snowe have introduced legislation to strike the ideological abstinence-until-marriage earmark from PEPFAR (the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief).

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The Missing Cohort of the AIDS Epidemic

A new policy report from Advocates for Youth reveals that HIV-positive youth are largely ignored by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

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Improving U.S. Global AIDS Policy for Young People

Advocates for Youth releases a new policy report today which presents findings from programs in Kenya and South Africa that are funded by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

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Leaked Memo from World Bank

We obtained a confidential letter from Juan José Daboub to the World Bank board members, denying that he removed references to family planning from a Madagascar grant or any official policies.

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Wolfowitz Comes Under Fire for Personal and Political Blunders

Naina Dhingra is the Director of International Policy at Advocates for Youth and serves on the Developed Country NGO Board Delegation of the Global Fund.

The annual spring meetings of the World Bank will be held this weekend in Washington, D.C. amidst turmoil and controversy surrounding its head, Paul Wolfowitz. Wolfowitz, better known for his role as a former Bush official central to the planning of the Iraq war, came under fire yesterday for impropriety surrounding the promotion and pay raise of his girlfriend, Shaha Riza. Wolfowitz, who has been outspoken on the need to get rid of corruption in development during his tenure at the World Bank, made the hourly CNN newsfeed for helping Riza secure a high paying special assignment to the State Department when he joined the Bank.

As if he didn't have enough problems, the Financial Times reported last night that reproductive health policies have been under attack under Wolfowitz due to the appointment of Juan José Daboub to managing director. Daboub is a former member of the ruling conservative party of Ecuador. The FT reports that Daboub is "attempting to radically alter a long-standing health strategy at the World Bank" and that "there was a widespread perception within the bank that the emphasis on contraception in preventing disease was being altered following the appointment [of Daboub]."

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IOM Says Abstinence-Until-Marriage Earmark Hinders Global HIV Prevention Efforts

Last Friday, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published their long awaited congressionally mandated report evaluating the implementation of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). For weeks, advocates have been anticipating the findings of the report with little rumor of its outcomes. We were not disappointed. The 314 page report, PEPFAR Implementation: Progress and Promise, was well worth the $37.50 download fee. The IOM found:

The Committee has been unable to find evidence for the position that abstinence can stand alone or that 33 percent is the appropriate allocation for such activities even within integrated programs.

There is, however, little evidence to show that ABC when separated out into its components is as effective as the comprehensive approach.

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ACT UP Turns 20

Twenty years ago this month, one of the most powerful activist movements was born—the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power—better known as ACT UP. ACT UP has accomplished many things in 20 years but perhaps the most powerful is the lessons that it has to offer the reproductive justice movement in the current political climate.

ACT UP was born in New York on March 10, 1987 after activists at a meeting at the LGBT Community Center decided that political action needed to be taken to respond to AIDS. Two weeks later, ACT UP held its first demonstration to protest the high price of AZT—the sole AIDS drug at the time. Activists, made up of those living with HIV and their allies, held a "die-in" on Wall Street and disrupted the opening bell. ACT UP put the national spotlight on the high cost of AIDS drugs. Before long, ACT UP became known for their media-savvy political actions targeted at the pharmaceutical companies to lower drug prices.

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Global Fund Executive Director Selected

The race for the Executive Director for the Global Fund finally ended after several months of uncertainty. The Board of the institution met Thursday in Geneva to review the second round of applications for the position at an emergency meeting that was called for last October after failing to select a candidate. Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, one of the two frontrunners from the first round, was selected.

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The State of the Union and HIV/AIDS

Naina Dhingra is the Director of International Policy at Advocates for Youth and serves on the Developed Country NGO Board Delegation of the Global Fund.

I remember the night of January 28, 2003 well. For days prior, there had been a flurry of emails speculating that President Bush might perhaps mention global AIDS and that he just might announce a major new U.S. government initiative to tackle the pandemic in his State of the Union. At the time, I was a college AIDS activist with the Student Global AIDS Campaign (SGAC) at George Washington (GW) University and a member of the International Youth Leadership Council with Advocates for Youth. I lived and breathed the global AIDS movement. SGAC had formed just a few months earlier on the passion and commitments of a small group of students from Harvard, GW, University of Maryland, Yale, and several other universities. We were young, inspired, and believed that we could change the world.

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Finding Hope in Kenya: Growing Up With HIV

Naina Dhingra is the Director of International Policy at Advocates for Youth and serves on the Developed Country NGO Board Delegation of the Global Fund.

The drive is one you don't forget: a terrible pot-holed road from town usually filled with bumper to bumper traffic. But the destination is well worth the price. Karen, a wealthy Nairobi suburb of mizungus (Swahili for "white people") is usually not a destination for those working in international development. Kangemi and Kibera, the slums of Nairobi, are more up our alley. But tucked away in Karen is an inspiring program called Nyumbani. Nyumbani, which means "home" in Swahili, is a home for HIV+ children who have been orphaned or abandoned.

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