Bush uses AIDS Day to push Christian right agenda
Bush uses World AIDS Day to push Christian right agenda
By Mike Ingram - World Socialist Web Site
For President George W. Bush, World AIDS Day was another occasion to pander to the Christian fundamentalist right wing that makes up the political base of his administration.
Speaking December 1, before an assembled audience of top officials, with an African family flown in for the photo op, Bush said, “I believe America has a unique ability, and a special calling, to fight this disease,” emphasizing US support for the “ABC approach to prevention.”
He told the audience, “We’re working with our partners to expand prevention efforts that emphasize abstinence, being faithful in marriage and using condoms correctly.” Bush claimed that this strategy was “pioneered by Africans” and has “proven its effectiveness.” He stated that through the New Partners Initiative, Americans “will further reach out to our faith-based community organizations that provide much of the health care in the developing world, and make sure they have access to an American assistance.”
The “C” in US AIDS strategy is entirely subordinate to the call for “abstinence” and “being faithful.” In August 2003, the Bush administration cut funding for an AIDS program working with refugees in Africa because one of the seven organizations involved provided family planning and abortion advice.
US AIDS policy has been condemned both inside and outside of Africa by AIDS activists and even some governments. A statement signed by 22 European Union member countries, led by Britain, said, “We are profoundly concerned about the resurgence of partial or incomplete messages on HIV prevention which are not grounded in evidence and have limited effectiveness.”….