Sunday, September 30, 2007
Condoms and Catholics, Condoms and Bush Administration
LA Weekly News - June 24, 2004
- Published on June 16 in the Federal Register, the censorious new CDC guidelines will be mandatory for any organization that does HIV-prevention work and also receives federal funds — whether or not any federal money is directly spent on their programs designed to fight the spread of the epidemic. (The CDC is the principal federal funder of prevention education about HIV and AIDS, and its head a Bush appointee). It’s all couched in arcane bureaucratese, but this is the Bush administration’s Big Stick — do exactly as we say, or lose your federal funding. And nearly all of the some 3,800 AIDS service organizations (ASOs) that do the bulk of HIV-prevention education receive at least part of their budget from federal dollars. Without that money, they’d have to slash programs or even close their doors.
- These new regs require the censoring of any “content” — including “pamphlets, brochures, fliers, curricula,” “audiovisual materials” and “pictorials (for example, posters and similar educational materials using photographs, slides, drawings or paintings),” as well as “advertising” and Web-based info. They require all such “content” to eliminate anything even vaguely “sexually suggestive” or “obscene” — like teaching how to use a condom correctly by putting it on a dildo, or even a cucumber. And they demand that all such materials include information on the “lack of effectiveness of condom use” in preventing the spread of HIV and other STDs — in other words, the Bush administration wants AIDS fighters to tell people: Condoms don’t work. This demented exigency flies in the face of every competent medical body’s judgment that, in the absence of an HIV-preventing vaccine, the condom is the single most effective tool available to protect someone from getting or spreading the AIDS virus.
Washington Post - Sept.29, 2007
She's undaunted by questions touching on the politics of AIDS. She praises her father's overseas initiatives while noting that "the Clinton Foundation is doing amazing work in Africa and in Latin America" as well.
"Ana's Story" features a UNICEF-compiled list of "Ten Myths About HIV/AIDS." No. 6 reads, "Condoms don't protect you from HIV."
"A pretty obvious myth," Bush says. "Everybody knows that condoms prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS."
She loses no opportunity to lavish praise on UNICEF and those who work there. But she deflects a question about the Bush administration's combative relationship with the United Nations as a whole.
"I'm not my dad," she says. "I can tell you that UNICEF is doing incredible work."