When it comes to making sure taxpayer-funded AIDS programs are comprehensive and designed to deliver the most effective interventions for people in need, the Obama administration’s track record has not been good.
The Senate passes PEPFAR, removes the HIV travel ban, and reinforces some ideological restrictions that should have been removed. More people will be helped, and that is good.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) took advantage of leverage far-right negotiators acquired as PEPFAR negotiations have been mishandled, and violated Senate protocol to push his ideological misinformation about abortion.
The Senate is moving closer to a vote on PEPFAR, but there is still time to fix the bill allowing the work horse of prevention to pull the cart of treatment, lightening the load by reducing the number of people infected. Congress has burdened the horse with ideology, and put the cart in front.
Faith-based organizations representing a broad spectrum of religions call on our government to reauthorize PEPFAR without ideological restrictions on funding.
PEPFAR’s “anti-prostitution” pledge favors strategies that are penal in character over health-based interventions that reach out to educate sex workers.
As expected, the House wrapped itself in a big red bi-partisan bow when discussing PEPFAR, and Rep. Steny Hoyer said the bill shouldn’t fall prey to “political sport.” Here’s hoping this weekend’s Final Four is more competitive than the PEPFAR reauthorization ever was.
For women in Africa, marriage is no protection against HIV. Their challenge is how to start negotiating for condom use 20 years into their marriages.
The HIV epidemic in India needs to be fought by accessible testing, lessening stigma, widespread education, and needle exchange programs, but above all, it needs to be fought by a humane and scientific prevention program coming from the government.
As we approach our last chance to improve the PEPFAR reauthorization bill, we must ask ourselves: do we care about claiming a victory on a mediocre piece of legislation and maintaining relationships with Congress, or do we care about taking a principled stand for the needs of people around the world?