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U.S. Pushes Abstinence Overseas

U.S. Pushes Abstinence Overseas


New federal funding directives require that two thirds of all President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief grants issued this year for programs working to prevent sexual transmissions of HIV be devoted to efforts stressing abstinence and monogamy, according to a document obtained by the Associated Press. Mark Dybul, deputy U.S. global AIDS coordinator, told The Baltimore Sun that Congress has stipulated that one third of PEPFAR's five-year international HIV spending go to abstinence programs, and that because only one quarter of AIDS spending in 2005 went to such outreach efforts a higher percentage had to be allocated this year to make up for the shortfall. AIDS advocates say the new regulation will hamper condom distribution programs and reduce funding for initiatives that teach at-risk groups about safer sex, strategies they say are key in slowing HIV's spread in poor countries. Mother-to-child HIV prevention programs and those working to help injection-drug users also could be adversely affected, they say.

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