President Embraces Condom Use To Prevent AIDS
On June 23, 2004, for the first time, President Bush said the United States (US) should “learn from the experience” of countries like Uganda in fighting acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and embraced the use of condoms to prevent its spread. (1) President Bush said, “ We can learn from the experiences of other countries when it comes to a good program to prevent the spread of AIDS, like the nation of Uganda. They've started what they call the A.B.C. approach to prevention of this deadly disease. That stands for: Abstain, be faithful in marriage, and, when appropriate, use condoms.” (2)
President Bush also said that the approach was working and was a “practical, balanced and moral message.” He was quick to add that “in addition to other kinds of prevention, we need to tell our children that abstinence is the only certain way to avoid contracting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).” (3)
The Bush administration was accused of using ideology, not science, to dictate AIDS policy by US Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-California) who was the only member of Congress to attend the week long 15th International AIDS Conference in Bangkok.
On July 12, 2004, Congresswoman Lee objected to the US AIDS initiative requiring one-third of prevention funding to go to “abstinence until marriage” programs. She said, “In an age where five million people are newly infected each year and women and girls too often do not have the choice to abstain, and abstinence until marriage program is not only irresponsible, it's really inhumane. Abstaining from sex is often not a choice, and therefore their only hope in preventing HIV infection is the use of condoms.” (4)
Congresswoman Lee, like many in Congress, still does not understand that it is time to hold people accountable for their behavior and that the only way to prevent diseases such as AIDS is through behavior modification such as abstinence. What is really inhumane, is promoting immorality and deviant behavior in the name of sound science.
Wrongly, the President treats abstinence and condom use as being just as effective in preventing AIDS. However, the scientific literature indicates that this is incorrect, and condoms are still not 100 percent effective in protecting an individual from exposure to the HIV virus.
What the President has done once again is export the United States' culture of immorality, under the guise of pro-family values, in an attempt to provide a solution to a deadly disease that can only be stopped through monogamy and abstinence. His suggestions are morally and ethically wrong.
In addition, President Bush straddles still another issue in hopes of attracting moderate to liberal voters to vote for him in November. Ironically, this action continues to alienate conservatives from voting for him and deciding not to go to the polls in November.
Sanger , E. David and Jr. McNeil G. Donald. “Bush Backs Condom Use To Prevent Spread of AIDS.” The New York Times. [Retrieved June 24, 2004].
Schuettler, Darren. “Abstinence, Condom Controversy Erupts at AIDS Meet,” Reuters. [Retrieved July 12, 2004].
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