Friday, January 22, 2010

Report: How Ideology Trumped Science: Why PEPFAR Has Failed to Meet Its Potential

via, by Rex Wockner

The Council for Global Equality and the Center for American Progress issued a report earlier this week criticising numerous practices of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

The U.S. government program operates in Botswana, Cambodia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, India, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Russia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The report, "How Ideology Trumped Science: Why PEPFAR Has Failed to Meet Its Potential," outlines multiple ways in which conservative ideology allegedly has distorted PEPFAR's reach and impact.

"These include inadequate attention to the needs of men who have sex with men, failure to address laws that have impeded outreach to underserved LGBT communities, exclusion of programs targeting commercial sex workers and injecting drug users, and inadequate attention to sex education, particularly the correct usage of condoms," the organizations said.

"These and other shortfalls detailed in the report have undermined the science-based approach needed to win the fight against HIV and AIDS," they said.

The report, available at, was authored by Scott Evertz, who was director of the Office of National AIDS Policy during U.S. President George W. Bush's first term.

"Mr. Evertz' observations of what went wrong with PEPFAR are firsthand," said CGE senior advisor Michael Guest, the openly gay former U.S. ambassador to Romania. "His specific recommendations to improve the program reflect both an expert's knowledge of HIV/AIDS problems facing LGBT communities abroad as well as the political shoals on which a science-based approach to HIV/AIDS prevention has foundered."

The Council for Global Equality is an alliance of 18 prominent U.S. LGBT and human rights organizations working to increase U.S. government efforts to secure fair treatment and equal rights for LGBT people at home and abroad.

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