Death By Sex and Stealth

Thomas J. Euteneuer
June 15, 2007
Reproduced with Permission

The ideologically-motivated fanatics in control of Congressional committees have done it again: in the face of clear evidence that abstinence is the only - I repeat - the only way to successfully beat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Third World, they have zeroed out all funding for abstinence in the 2008 budget. That's right. All funding for abstinence is gone. We did not hear about this stealth excision by the House Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs on June 5th because they are in control of our tax dollars which are being used against our values and, in most cases, without our knowledge or consent.

In 2003, President Bush authorized $15 billion in a five-year commitment to fight HIV/AIDS in 15 Third World countries with high HIV prevalence rates: Botswana, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia. How Uganda got on the list is a mystery to me. Uganda reduced its HIV/AIDS rate from 30% down to 5% in recent years due to serious and nation-wide sustained efforts to promote sexual behavior change in the population. Logic would indicate that the rest of the world should fall into line and imitate their success, but for the militant condom promoters in charge of the purse strings in donor nations, condoms are an end in themselves, no matter the human cost.

All this flies in the face of the undeniable positive results of abstinence. Earlier this year, even the openly-gay U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Mark Dybul, admitted to the House Foreign Affairs Committee that "in recent years, in a growing number of nations, we have seen clear evidence of declining HIV prevalence as a result of changes in sexual behavior. In addition to earlier dramatic declines in HIV infection in Uganda, there is growing evidence of similar trends in other nations, including Botswana, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe." Furthermore, it looks as if many of the recipient nations were truly benefiting from the abstinence monies and directing a significant portion of their US funding toward programs that support their people's strong traditional value systems. Ethiopia, for instance, dedicated 53 percent of prevention funding just to abstinence and fidelity programs even though only 33% was required by law. Uganda gave 60 percent, and Nigeria 70 percent. In fact, no African recipient of US funds dedicated less than 47 percent of its funding in recent years to these successful programs. Could it be that they fund these programs because they know they work?

Congresspersons Tom Lantos' (D-CA) and Nita Lowey's (D-NY) views of what works are quite different, however. Lantos said, "Mandating the preaching of abstinence may not be the best use of one-third of the funds in this fight." Lowey's press release lauds "the provision of contraceptives from USAID to family planning organizations that have been denied USAID funding.... The bill provides contraceptives only - not financial assistance - to clinics and NGOs." I guess that means Planned Parenthood gets more of our money and the poor Africans get more latex and chemicals forced on them.

The long, slow, agonizing AIDS deaths of millions in the Third World who could have been reached by the abstinence message will be the only result of this denial of funding by the condom crusaders in the US Congress. For all their talk about compassion for the poor, the only thing that really matters to them is fanatically promoting their ideology of death by sex.