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Fight Against AIDS Takes on Different Approach

With an estimated 900,000 people in the US infected with HIV, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is renewing its efforts in the fight against AIDS by allocating $3.8 million per year for “prevention for positives” programs in California, Maryland, and Wisconsin. Unlike conventional programs focused on protecting and preventing infection, programs such as the San Francisco-based Stop AIDS Project target the responsibilities of infected individuals in controlling transmission.

However, despite this commitment to the “prevention for positives” strategy, the CDC is investigating the Stop AIDS Project, which receives $700,000 in federal funds, purportedly to determine if its programs are “scientifically sound.” The group insists that its workshops, including those entitled “Booty Call” and “Great Sex,” speak to the area’s large gay and bisexual male community: “We are not promoting sex, we are speaking to a community of sexually active adults about reducing the risk of HIV,” the group stated in an organization press release.

Meanwhile, the Bush administration conveniently assumes the “scientific soundness” of its marriage and sexual education policies. The House welfare reauthorization bill (H.R. 4737) passed in May allots $300 million a year for promoting “healthy marriage” and $50 million for abstinence-only education, the latter of which has been rejected by every mainstream medical and health organization in the US.

LEARN MORE Click here to read women’s narratives about barriers or successes in accessing reproductive health and family planning services.

Sources:

NY Times 8/13/02; PlanetOut.com 8/8/02; Washington Times 8/7/02; Feminist Daily News 5/17/02

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