President Bush promoted the “ABC” HIV-prevention program in a speech in Tanzania today.  Everytime I read about this stupid, stupid policy, I feel like my head is going to explode.  The program limits the “C” – education about the importance of condoms and distribution of condoms – to high-risk groups, not the general population.  Counselors and educators working with the general population are under a gag rule.

All moralism aside, and granting for the sake of argument the importance of abstinence until marriage and all the rest of the conservative claptrap – does Bush not get that you can only control your own faithfulness, not your spouse’s?  That you can be as faithful as the day is long, and your spouse can step out on you, get HIV, and give it to you?  

Statistically, contracting HIV from one’s spouse is a really common cause of HIV in women in the countries this program operates in.  Married women ARE high-risk.

I would think it was paternalistic racism toward developing nations, but we’re all subject to this abstinence-only crap in the U.S. too.

Do Bush and the programs’ architects really not see this gigantic gaping hole in their logic?  Or do they see and not care?  Are they that stupid, or that callous?   It’s one or the other.

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