Aid for AIDS victims.

The BBC makes the very serious claim that the American government refuses to allow aid money to be spent on treating prostitutes suffering from AIDS. In fact it makes it twice.

Here is the BBC story: Brazil turns down US Aids funds. It says:

Washington says it is important not to promote prostitution, and does not want any of its funds to be spent on treating prostitutes.

and

Much of the spending is being channelled to programmes that advocate abstinence, rather than condom use, and cannot be used for abortions or to treat prostitutes.

There is a blog called “Behind Enemy Lines” run by a Republican living in San Francisco who calls himself “Secret Agent X-9.” It is ironic that this romantic soul bothered to fact-check where a mainstream news organisation did not. In this this well-researched post he tracked down the relevant Acquisition and Assistance Policy Directive. It says, in summary, that the US demands that organizations who take US aid must say they oppose prostitution and sex trafficking. It also says that organizations may be given American aid even if they have moral objections to condoms. One may agree or disagree with this stance of the US government, but one thing is clear. The document specifically said that

“Nothing in the preceding sentence shall be construed to preclude the provision to individuals of palliative care, treatment, or post-exposure pharmaceutical prophylaxis, and necessary pharmaceuticals and commodities, including test kits, condoms, and, when proven effective, microbicides”

Hat tip – “Sunbonnet”. Bet you picked that name deliberately.

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29 Responses to Aid for AIDS victims.

  1. thedogsdanglybits says:

    OT
    Woke up this morning to the cheering news that the Blair junta has been given a severe drubbing and that my tactical vote has paid off, ex-labour MP but perennial lawn ornament Barbara Roche is no longer my parliamentary representative. Imagine my dismay when flicking thru the Telegraph here: http://http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/05/05/swings.xml&sSheet=/portal/2005/05/05/ixportaltop.html to discover that Hornsey & Wood Green has been moved overnight to north-west Leeds. Is there no perfidy that a Labour Goverment will not stoop to? I set out in search of the North Circular more in hope than confidence.
    On Topic
    Bi the bi – I can’t work up any enthusiasm for Brazilian whores either

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  2. David Field says:

    OT –

    Well there you go. The BBC would appear to have got more or less the result it has been campaigning for: a “punish Blair” vote that does not lead to a Tory government.

    Expect now the next chapter. The BBC has the motive (left liberalism) and the means (its vast broadcasting organisation). Because of the slashed Labour majority it now has the opportunity to execute phase two of its campaign and engineer the removal of Blair within say 18 months, and his replacement by Brown.

    The Tories still have a mountain to climb. Their first step should be to urge an inquiry into voting by illegal immigrants which would have swung many constituencies in London and the South East.

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  3. Cockney says:

    That’s starting to border of Democratesque levels of conspiracy theory David (unless of course it’s another parody – hard to tell around here these days).

    Given the smaller majority there’s probably now enough ultra left nutcases in the Labour ranks to make lots of necessary stuff pretty tricky for Tony and/or Gordon to pull off. This is therefore a golden opportunity for the Conservatives to present themselves as a sensible grey suited, side partinged party of rational economic competence, which is what they should really get cracking on straight away. Alternatively they could continue shrieking about niche issues, flatline at 33% in 2009 and get battered (provided Labour can manage to be washing their hair when auditions for the next ‘coalition of the willing’ crop up).

    On a BBC theme I thought that their coverage was far superior to ITV or Sky but why were they about 30 minutes behind putting the results up??

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  4. Scott Campbell at Blithering B says:

    >On a BBC theme I thought that their coverage was far superior to ITV or Sky

    I thought Sky’s coverage was far superior to the others, although the BBC had some snazzy graphics. But Sky was much better at putting up the relevant figures for each seat as the count was called.

    >why were they about 30 minutes behind putting the results up??

    ITV seemed to be putting up seat numbers before the official declarations.

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  5. grant says:

    OT

    I wonder how the BBC will report the election of George Galloway, the first fascist MP to be elected on the UK mainland? Remember the attention they gave to the election to local councils of equally odious, but more irrelevant BNP councillors? I wonder if they’ll question the voters of Bow and Bethnal why they can’t tell the difference between Islam and Islamofascism, and whether they realise that the government of Iraq now includes several Muslim clerics, who were persecuted during the years of their idol, saddam hussein? Somehow I think they won’t.

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  6. dan says:

    David Field “Expect now the next chapter”
    Which includes “campaigning” for the adoption of the EU constitution, beloved of golden (well ginger) boy C. Kennedy. Continued increase in anti-US sentiment will grease the wheels.
    (On the election, I wonder how the Tories fooled themselves into thinking that Howard was anything but a hate figure, the last bogyman of the Thatcher/Major years.)

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  7. James says:

    In ITV’s defence, Katie Derham looked hot and made we wish I was responsible for her bump.

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  8. David Field says:

    Grant –

    In order to build up its importance, the BBC are billing the Galloway result as a “surprise”. Hardly a surprise as soon as you realise that 40% of registered (legally or illegally) voters in the constituency are Muslim; that most Muslims vote on the instructions of their Imams; and that lots of Asian Muslims have disdain for women of (part in her case) African descent such as Oona King as being part of a slave class. Once you stir in media interest and the silver tongued blandishments of Galloway a clear victory for the “wee man” was not a surprise. As I would say to him: Sir, I salute your chutzpah and your ability to explain away paper trails. Of course I wouldn’t be referring to him personally – I would be speaking to all teh people who make up the fine “Respect Nation”.

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  9. Verity says:

    Oh, the poetic justice of it all! A moment to relish! John Humphrys’ vote was stolen! Someone applied for a postal vote in his name and when he got to the polling booth, he was told he’d already voted by mail. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! “It’s disgraceful,” he said. “There’s nothing I can do. What can I do? The votes have been counted… So my vote was stolen.” Stolen by the Beeb’s pet group of people, who also stole 60,000 votes in Birmingham (according to The Times).

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  10. Natalie Solent says:

    Verity,
    If you’re interested I posted about that here.

    ThedogsDB,
    While the fact that you “can’t work up any enthusiasm for Brazilian whores” speaks well of your continence, I do think that medicine for the sick is one of the better uses to which US foreign aid can be put.

    Furthermore you can be sure that the incorrect statements in the BBC article will be used as the basis for a hundred sermons to be delivered by trendy vicars this Sunday. “Our Lord himself,” they will say, “was compassionate to fallen women – but George W Bush refuses them help.”

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  11. Peter says:

    John Humphrys let Alan Milburn get away with describing the Conservative’s 33% of the vote as pathetic. Surely the response should have been that Labour’s 36% was only marginally better.
    My wife swears she heard John Piennaar doing a ‘James Naughty’ early this morning when Labour won a seat saying ‘we won another seat’.
    Was she hearing things?
    Probably not.

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  12. Susan says:

    Not one but three crowing stories about Baghdad George’s “triumph” is to be found on al-Beeb this morning:

    Here

    Here

    and

    Here

    The traitor’s paper-thin win is so important it needs to be covered three times?

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  13. Daedalus says:

    Your quote “Washington says it is important not to promote prostitution and does not want any of its funds to be spent on treating prostitutes” does not say the “American government refuses to allow aid money to be spent on treating prostitutes.” Where do you get that? Washington simply does not want its money to be spent on treating prostitutes. That does not mean that it refuses to give money, and the BBC article does not say that.

    Brazil’s decision to turn down the AIDS money is because it does not want to sign a declaration condemning prostitution as immoral, not because the US gov won’t let them treat prostitutes. Brazil’s move is a symbolic gesture to the US and its religious reich’s grip on policy.

    The White House’s so-called “ABC” approach—A for abstinence, B for be faithful and C for condoms “where appropriate”—effectively makes the morality of right-wing Christian fundamentalists the basis for government policy. A third of the US funds will go to programs in 15 selected countries and will be administered mainly by church-related or “faith” groups.

    The emphasis on “abstinence” is also the pretext for not funding other prevention programs. The UN Population Fund, which finances HIV, sexual and reproductive health programs, and the International Planned Parenthood Federation have both had their funding slashed by the Bush administration because they support health clinics that provide abortion services.

    Your ideology has blinded you to simple words on paper.

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  14. Robin says:

    Dogsdanglybits,
    I remember Barbara Rosche saying “Im not here to please lorry drivers” as she handed out leaflets about the iniquitous fines to be imposed on truckers if immigrants were caught in their lorries.
    I bet she wanted their votes though.

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  15. PJF says:

    Daedalus, thanks for sharing your ideology. Was it that which blinded you to these BBC words on the screen:

    “…and cannot be used for abortions or to treat prostitutes.

    ?

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  16. Roxana Cooper says:

    Well of course Daedalus if you consider prostitution and promiscuity good things you are going to resent a program that places a priority on continence.

    However I would just like to say one doesn’t have to be a Born Again Christian – or any kind of Christian – to think that women being forced to sell their bodies for money is a bad thing. Or that sleeping around is unsafe and stupid on the grounds of both physical and emotional health, (condoms aren’t a hundred percent you know!).

    Like we say in the States; the sexual revolution is over and everybody lost. Turns out you really *can’t* grafify yourself wherever and whenever and with whomever you like without consequences.

    Finally I don’t think a government that supports prostitution is showing a heck of a lot of respect for women – who as a rule do *not* go into that line of work out of preference and normally exercise their ‘profession’ under the thumb of some man.

    Instead of giving ‘working girls’ condoms and drugs how about helping them into a safer and more self esteem building line of work???

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  17. thedogsdanglybits says:

    Sorry, Natalie but that was the first time I’d seen a comments board remain un-adorned for 8 hours since I first visited this site. I can only presume other contributors were equally electorally hung-over. Listening to ten minutes worth of John Prescott in full flow can damage ones rational abilities for some time.
    Re the subject under discussion, I’m convinced that the BBC must have a department (highly paid goes without saying) that devotes its entire time to ferreting out stories that show the US in a bad light. I’ve no doubt that if Snr Chequer had accepted the aid they would have been running an expose on American involvement in the promotion of child prostitution complete with pictures of tots plying their trade outside the US embassy.

    A few years ago I remember a story about how an American pharma combine was callously dumping out of date drugs on the third world. The truth of the matter – they were giving medicines that were approaching their sell before date to needy people in developing countries.This was stuff that,if kept in reasonable conditions would be perfectly safe and effective for decades. In the places where it was sent it was being used straight off the plane. After a PR roasting like that I suppose they learnt their lesson and now landfill it.

    Look at the response to the tsunami. The American disaster relief teams almost reached the devatated areas before the wave. The following week our wonderful broadcaster is faithfully reporting UN criticism of the US userping it’s role.
    If the USAF was airdropping bread to starving people there would be a BBC camera crew scurrying round below trying to film somebody being brained by a falling loaf.

    Robin,
    Having spotted a person of restricted growth being ferried around a North London consituency in a car with a disabled parking permit prominently displayed, I don’t suppose fines have been of great concern.

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  18. Denise W says:

    Roxana, I totally agree.

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  19. Verity says:

    Roxana – Wild guess, but most people on this blog are not socialists who have the faintest interest in “directing” people into any line of work. Free market and all that. No USSR-style “directing” workers, thanks. There will always be whores – male and female – because men will always be willing to pay for them. So what?

    Dog’s nuts – what person? Restricted growth? You didn’t mean restricted sight?

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  20. Susan says:

    I thought canine dangly was talking about what used to be called a “midget.” I don’t know the correct PeeCee term for it nowadays.

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  21. JohninLondon says:

    Apropos the tsunami, the BBC this week had seceral reports about the World heth Organisation and lots of other aid orgs having a conference (jolly??) in at the resort of Phuket to discuss lessons to be learned from the initial response. Need for more coordination and all that crap, said the Beeb. No mention of the fact that all the UN provided in the early days was people trying to coordinate, looking for people to boss around. No mention of the fact that virtually all the heavy assistance in Sumatra was being done by the US and Aussie military, while the UN nd its various agencies achieved damn-all. All part of the BBC rewriting history as it happens.

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  22. thedogsdanglybits says:

    Verity, Susan,
    Rather cryptic comment was for benefit of Robin. The word I would associate with newly unemployed Labour MP’s in general is s shadenfraude and I don’t give a toss if it’s PC or not

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  23. Verity says:

    I thought you might be referring to the weepy, sensitive blind one, who seems to have been back more times than Peter Mandelson. Shows you the size of the pool of “talent” in the Labour party, doesn’t it, when they have to keep bringing back these retreads that other parties would have long paid to sip rum punches in Jamaica and not come back.

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  24. Roxana Cooper says:

    “Roxana – Wild guess, but most people on this blog are not socialists who have the faintest interest in “directing” people into any line of work. Free market and all that. No USSR-style “directing” workers, thanks. There will always be whores – male and female – because men will always be willing to pay for them. So what?”

    So…since when is helping people out of a demeaning, exploitative way of life ‘socialist’? I do however agree that private charity would be better than government action in this area – we all know how effective (not!) government programs are!

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  25. Verity says:

    Roxana Cooper – Many prostitutes do not share your distaste for their line of work. The fact is, it is not our business. Imposing solutions on people who haven’t asked for them is socialist.

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  26. Roxana Cooper says:

    How is offering women who are not enchanted with their ‘profession’ a way out ‘socialist’? Nobody has to take the offer who doesn’t want to.

    Being a feminist I feel living off men is not a good way to live – as those prostitutes who ‘like’ their work will find out when they are no longer young and pretty.

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  27. Verity says:

    I cannot see where I said some women “like” being prostitutes. I said some of them don’t regard their line of work with the same distaste you do. Your being a feminist is neither here nor there to the lives of other people. Many prostitutes, by the way, see themselves as exploiting men – not the other way round. Whatever. Who cares?

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  28. Roxana Cooper says:

    Exploiting men…yes I guess you could look at it that way. Of course success in that line of work means *pleasing* men and giving them what they want – but I guess you could call that exploitation if you want to.

    But if those prostitutes who don’t feel ‘exploited’ or ‘demeaned’ also don’t ‘like’ their work why should they object to being offered an opportunity to change careers? Like I said, nobody has to take the offer who doesn’t want to.

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  29. Rick says:

    Yes and they also repeat the canard that Bush opposes Stem-Cell Research whereas he opposes using Federal Funds for Stem-Cell Research…………….obviously it must all be Taxpayer-Funded in Europe for the BBC to ignore the notion that there is any other way of funding anything

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