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Press Release

GMHC Calls for Defunding Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs and Increased Funding for Comprehensive Sex Education in Schools

April 9, 2009

New York, N.Y. -- Today Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) issued the 2009 Federal Policy Agenda. The agenda provides concrete, science-based recommendations for improving the federal government's response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The top priorities in GMHC's 2009 Federal Agenda include:

  • Development of a U.S. national AIDS strategy
  • Repeal of the federal ban on syringe exchange
  • Defunding abstinence-only-until-marriage programs
  • Funding and implementation of comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education in schools
  • Lifting the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) blood-donation ban on men who have sex with men (MSM)
  • Complete repeal of the HIV immigration and travel ban

Also included is a call for the FDA to trial and, if appropriate, approve Gardasil for use with boys and men to reduce anal cancer rates among gay men. Currently, Gardasil is approved for girls and women ages 9 to 26 to prevent cervical cancer. Gay men are 20 times more likely than the general population to develop anal cancer, and HIV-positive men who have sex with men are up to 40 times more likely than the general population to develop anal cancer.

"The 2009 Federal Policy Agenda is a reflection of GMHC's legacy of mobilizing communities, with consumers and program expertise directly informing our public policy recommendations," said Marjorie J. Hill, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer at GMHC. "We look forward to working with Congress and the Obama Administration to implement these federal recommendations that will make significant strides in slowing the spread of HIV, and improving the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS," added Hill.

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This article was provided by Gay Men's Health Crisis. Visit GMHC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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