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US To Implement New Rules For AIDs Funding

US To Implement New Rules For AIDs Funding

23 May, 2005

The Family Planning Association says a new “pledge” requirement out of the United States will have an impact on organisations that use US money in programmes to fight HIV/AIDS.

FPA Executive Director, Dr Gill Greer, says a directive from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and USAID will require all American organisations to pledge their opposition to prostitution in order to be eligible to partner with the US Government to combat HIV/AIDS in the developing world. This new requirement extends to non-American organisations that rely on US funds to fight HIV/AIDS.

“This latest restriction to sexual and reproductive health aid money is certain to have a negative impact on very good programmes that are working with sex workers in countries with high rates of HIV/AIDS and who with their partners, are a high risk group for contracting the disease.

“Cutting off funding to these programmes will not stop prostitution and it places this vulnerable group at even more risk if they are not getting access to safer sex and rights education, condoms to protect themselves or education and support to help them find an alternative income.”

Dr Greer said while many people would like to see the elimination of prostitution, it would not happen through measures such as this.

These restrictions follow the Global Gag that restricts funds to organisations that work with agencies that provide abortion information. Needle exchange and condom promotion are also coming under fire.

Dr Greer said refusing to fund work in areas that the US considered morally wrong would not change behaviour.

“We must continue to support and educate people disadvantaged by poverty so that they can have choices and hope of a better future.”

ENDS

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