Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Obama Likely To Reverse Some Bush Administration HIV/AIDS Prevention, Family Planning Policies, Adviser Says

President-elect Barack Obama likely will undo U.S. family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention efforts that long linked funding to antiabortion and abstinence-only policies, Susan Wood -- co-chair of Obama's advisory committee for women's health and a professor at George Washington University's School of Public Health and Health Services -- said recently, Bloomberg reports. Wood said that although President Bush's global health programs -- such as the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief -- have brought more HIV/AIDS treatment to developing countries than under any other president, spending requirements for abstinence-only education have hampered family planning and the prevention of sexually transmitted infections worldwide.

"We have been going in the wrong direction, and we need to turn it around and be promoting prevention and family planning services and strengthening public health," Wood said. She added that Obama "is committed to looking at all this and changing the policies so that family planning services -- both in the U.S. and the developing world -- reflect what works, what helps prevent unintended pregnancy, reduce maternal and infant mortality, prevent the spread of disease."

According to Bloomberg, one of Bush's policies that has been cited for hindering STI and HIV/AIDS prevention efforts is restrictions on condom education. Gill Greer, director-general of the International Planned Pregnancy Federation, said CDC has pulled some condom information from its Web site. Greer said, "The U.S. administration has certainly succeeded in demonizing condoms rather than showing that they can be part of prevention of both unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections."

Read the rest via the Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report.

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