Thursday, May 03, 2007

AIDS and Abstinence Education

Laurie Garrett, author of The Coming Plague and a leading expert on the security implications of disease, published an excellent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times yesterday on the Bush Administration's preference for sexual abstinence programs in its anti-HIV/AIDS program funding. The entire essay is worth reading, but here is the conclusion for those wanting the bottom line only:

Designing foreign policy to stamp out sexual activity among consenting adults is a fool's errand and a waste of taxpayers' money. When it comes to AIDS policy, we should stop pushing a moral idea about the circumstances in which sex should occur and instead push what works: condoms, clean needles, sex education and making sure that women have equal power to say no, or yes, to sex.

After all, we know we can slow the spread of HIV and maybe even stop it. We'll never end extramarital sex, prostitution or even "escort services." Just ask the "D.C. Madam" and her clients.

Read the whole thing here.