August 30, 2005

Is Bush Government At Work Helping to Spread AIDS?

Last summer, when I met and produced an American recording for Jean Paul Samputu, the Rwanda singer and dancer who won the Kora Award (like our Grammy award) in 2003, one of the many things he told me about central Africa involved Uganda, where he has lived, off and on, for many years. He said that there was a successful AIDS prevention program underway, partly as a result of Ugandan women simply saying to men: "No condom? No sex." It has reportedly resulted in a significant reduction in the spread of AIDS in Uganda.

Now, according to the UN Special Envoy, Stephen Lewis, working on the AIDS problem in Africa, the United States is insisting that the focus of AIDS prevention be on abstinence, rather than condoms. Uganda has an AIDS prevention program based on their ABC approach: Abstinence, Be Faithful, and Condoms. Lewis has reported that the supply of condoms is drying up because of the influence of American government pressure (in the thrall of the religious right, which opposes condom use) on the Ugandan government. He says: "Over the last eight to 10 months, there's been a very significant decline in the use of condoms, significantly orchestrated by the policies of government." His concerns have been confirmed by NGOs like the US-based Center for Health and Gender Equity.

Not surprisingly, Bush mouthpieces deny all of it. At the very least, would it be fair to believe that the Bush government is NOT ADVOCATING the use of condoms?

2 comments:

jmcmaster said...

This policy is insane, criple Planned Parenthood stop aid to Africa if they use condoms. More religous right agenda.

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