Uganda Punished For Abstinence?
On AIDS, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has temporarily suspended all of its five grants to Uganda and asked the Ugandan Ministry of Finance to put in place a new structure that will ensure effective management of the grants.The press release on the review and grant rescission is not yet posted on the UN Site, so based on limited information I'm speculating that there might be a connection between this action and George Sorros' Human Rights Watch's criticism of Uganda for promoting abstinence over condoms, and suddenly the UN is pulling AIDS money out of that country.
The Global Fund’s decision was based on a review undertaken by PriceWaterhouseCoopers of one of the five grants. The review revealed evidence of serious mismanagement by the Ministry of Health’s Project Management Unit.
HRW wasn't too nice in making its charges:
Human Rights Watch accused President Yoweri Museveni and his wife, Janet Museveni, of falling under the influence of U.S. Christian conservatives and placing millions of young Ugandans at risk of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.Once again Soros and Bush are at odds, because Bush's AIDS initiative is based on the success of the Ugandan program, not its alleged failure. Says the Heritage Foundation:
The Bush Administration is basing its AIDS initiative on the success of Uganda, which has experienced the greatest decline in HIV prevalence of any country in the world. Studies show that from 1991 to 2001, HIV infection rates in Uganda declined from about 15 percent to 5 percent. How did Uganda do it?On its face, the UN action appears to be an outrageous but not unexpected punishing of Uganda. The UN's AIDS programs are failing throughout Africa, and it appears they're attacking the renegade nation that is having success by taking a different approach.
The best evidence suggests that the crucial factor was a national campaign to discourage risky sexual behaviors that contribute to the spread of the disease. Beginning in the mid-1980s, the Ugandan government, working closely with community and faith-based organizations, delivered a consistent AIDS prevention message: Abstain from sex until marriage, Be faithful to your partner, or use Condoms if abstinence and fidelity are not practiced.
The effect was to create what researchers call a "social vaccine" against HIV: a set of cultural values that encouraged more responsible sexual attitudes and behaviors. Uganda's "ABC" approach is now widely acknowledged as being linked to the dramatic reduction in the nation's HIV/AIDS rate.
I'll be tracking this.