Thanks to the US-led drug war, AIDS is exploding among injection drug users.
This World AIDS Day we were greeted by new, more accurate data from the World Health Organization (WHO) confirming the astonishing scope of the global epidemic: Some 40 million are now infected,
Click here to read more from Katha Pollitt.
Click here to help save ADAP.
Click here to read more by Naomi Klein.
The hard lessons of Guantánamo have yet to be learned, while many of the old mistakes are being repeated.
Last year marked the "twentieth anniversary" of AIDS, a grim occasion, to say the least, that put major US newspapers in an unenviable predicament.
As one of the largest private employers in Africa, the Coca-Cola Company could
dramatically alter the course of HIV/AIDS.
At the fourteenth international AIDS conference, the gulf between the
United States and the rest of the world widened as US officials touted
policies that world health experts agree are ineffective strategies for
stemming the pandemic. Without stepped-up prevention efforts, 45 million
more people will become infected with HIV by 2010, according to the
Global HIV Prevention Working Group. Yet 29 million of these people
would never contract the virus if leaders ratcheted up preventive
strategies--most crucially teaching the use of condoms.
In European countries, including the Netherlands and Sweden, the
promotion of a variety of safe sex practices--abstinence, monogamy and
condom use--has reduced teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted
diseases. In Senegal and Uganda, it has cut the rate of new HIV
infections in half. In all these countries and in others, national
governments have supported such programs both rhetorically and
The White House, however, wants to expand programs enacted under the
Clinton Administration that tie federal funding of sex education to the
promotion of abstinence-only curriculums. While the vast majority of US
schools provide information about what HIV is and how it is transmitted,
less than half give students information about what condoms are or how
to use them, according to Centers for Disease Control surveys.
In a speech drowned out by angry protesters in Barcelona, US Secretary
of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson touted the Administration's
$500 million drug initiative to prevent babies in Africa and the
Caribbean from becoming infected with HIV during birth or through
breastfeeding. He seemed confused when reporters later suggested that
preventing women, girls and their partners from becoming infected in the
first place might be a more productive strategy.
The evidence is clear: Campaigns that rely only on abstinence and drugs
to protect babies from AIDS won't slow the world pandemic. HIV
prevention does work when it is part of reproductive health programs
that recognize that sex is an integral component of human behavior.