Policy & Politics
NIH Director Zerhouni to Send Letter to Lawmakers Defending Agency's Funding of AIDS, Sexual Health Research
January 13, 2004
NIH Director Elias Zerhouni this week plans to send a letter to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee "resolutely" defending the agency's funding for "dozens" of research studies on HIV/AIDS, sexual behavior and addiction, USA Today reports (Sternberg, USA Today, 1/13). Conservative House members have questioned at least 10 NIH research grants, including grants for studies on emergency contraception, Asian sex workers in San Francisco and women's response to pornography. At an Oct. 2, 2003, hearing on the grants, Rep. Michael Ferguson (R-N.J.) asked NIH for information about the public benefit of the 10 studies. Zerhouni's staff contacted the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which co-sponsored the hearing, to obtain the list of studies about which Ferguson wanted further information. Instead of sending the list of 10 studies, a committee staff member sent a different, longer list. That list, which includes more than 200 grants representing $100 million in funding, was prepared by the Traditional Values Coalition, which says it represents 43,000 churches nationwide (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/30/03).
"Major" Public Health Issues?
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