< /head > Colorado Coalition for Human Rights: Fighting AIDS in Brazil

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Fighting AIDS in Brazil

The Washington Post has a good article about the differences between Brazil and the United States when it comes their approaches to fighting AIDS and outlooks on prostitution. The article explains that in Brazil, condoms are supplied by the government to prostitutes and are also given out freely to many other people. This is clearly a different approach to that in the United States, where many people don't even want condom machines in high school bathrooms. In my last post I referred to an article about how states are cutting health care programs aimed at preventing unwanted pregnancies, which is just the latest example of how many in the U.S. work to prevent funding for contraceptives and other birth control measures. As the WaPo article points out, the Brazilian government has one of the most liberal methods of fighting AIDS, and one of the clearest examples is when they give prostitutes free condoms and health classes. As the article points out, Brazil's methods have brought with them strong objections from America:

...the U.S. government strongly disapproves of such unorthodox methods. Two weeks ago, Brazil received a letter from USAID declaring the country ineligible for a renewal of a $48 million AIDS prevention grant. The United States requires all countries receiving AIDS funding help to formally state that prostitution is dehumanizing and degrading, and Brazil last year -- alone among AIDS aid recipients -- was unwilling to do that.
A working partnership with prostitutes, health officials here say, is a key reason that the country's AIDS prevention and treatment programs are considered by the United Nations to be the most successful in the developing world. There are at least 600,000 people infected with HIV in Brazil -- but that is only half the number predicted by the World Bank a decade ago.

Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes


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