Saturday, March 31, 2007

Bush’s AIDS Effort Limited by Restrictions

By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr. Published: March 31, 2007

President Bush’s $15 billion plan to fight AIDS globally is seriously hampered by restrictions imposed by Congress and the administration, a panel of medical experts said yesterday.

The country’s most prestigious medical advisory panel, the Institute of Medicine, was asked by Congress to assess the five-year plan at midway. The 13 members of the panel praised the efforts, saying the plan had “demonstrated what many doubted could be done.” But it needs to move from an emergency response to a long-term battle plan, the panel said, and its members listed these three restrictions that they felt were the most hindering:

¶The requirement that 33 percent of all money for prevention be spent teaching chastity and fidelity, even in countries where most cases are spread by drug injection.

¶The need for separate Food and Drug Administration approval of AIDS drugs that the World Health Organization has already approved.

¶Laws forbidding the use of taxpayer money to give clean needles to drug addicts.

Ruth Macklin, a bioethicist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx and a panel member, called the restrictions “hamstrings or shackles,”…..

Another beneficial contribution from President Bush and the Republican religious right.


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