Commentary & Opinion
U.S. "Ignores" Scientific Evidence by Emphasizing Abstinence in Global HIV/AIDS Prevention Programs, Opinion Piece Says
May 27, 2004
U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Randall Tobias has "ignored the evidence and misinterpreted science to advance a narrow ideological agenda" by "defending the use of [HIV] prevention programs that emphasize only sexual abstinence," Thomas Coates, a professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at the University of California-Los Angeles, writes in a San Francisco Chronicle opinion piece (Coates, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/25). Tobias last month in Berlin defended the use of prevention programs that emphasize sexual abstinence under the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. The law (HR 1298) authorizing PEPFAR endorses the "ABC" HIV prevention model -- Abstinence, Be faithful, use Condoms -- which has had success in lowering HIV prevalence rates in Uganda. The measure also specifies that one-third of the bill's HIV/AIDS prevention funding should be used for abstinence and monogamy programs (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/22). According to Coates, there are several "difficulties" with only promoting abstinence through HIV/AIDS prevention programs.
If the current and future U.S. administrations are "serious about using science to save lives, they will listen to the evidence and ask for the right amount of money for international prevention and care for HIV," Coates says, concluding, "That is the moral thing to do, and that is how leadership works" (San Francisco Chronicle, 5/25).
"Paucity" of Health Workers "Biggest Limiting Factor" to Providing AIDS Treatment in Developing World, Opinion Piece Says
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.