January 29, 2013
In the Huffington Post's "Politics" blog, journalist and author John-Manuel Andriote notes the U.S. Supreme Court this month agreed to hear a case challenging the federal anti-prostitution pledge, which requires groups that receive federal funding for overseas HIV/AIDS programs to sign a pledge denouncing prostitution and sex trafficking as a condition for receiving funding, and describes the history of the policy. Groups that oppose the pledge say "a public policy which condemns prostitution is likely to keep sex workers away from the testing and treatment they need, defeating their efforts to prevent HIV-related illness and new infections," he states.
"It's high time for the high court to end the counterproductive anti-prostitution policy, and allow those with the access and ability to use taxpayer funds as effectively as possible to reach those at greatest risk for HIV/AIDS," Andriote writes. "Prostitution won't be eradicated until the conditions that lead people into it are eradicated first," he continues, adding, "Where it comes to fighting HIV/AIDS, the federal government should use our money to fund reality-based interventions proven to work, not to advance moralistic agendas" (1/28).