tobias protestors

(AIDS activists protesting Randy Tobias's speech at the 2004 Bangkok International AIDS Conference)  

I couldn't give a flying f*** how ex-Deputy Secretary of State and PEPFAR Administrator Randall Tobias gets his sweet release. His personal life is none of my business. Whether he got just a massage (yeah, right!) or FS (full-service) matters not a whit.

What matters is that millions of women worldwide lost their access to HIV/AIDS prevention information and tools because USAID and PEPFAR money comes with strings attached: all aid recipients must sign an anti-trafficking and anti-prostitution pledge. Working with sex workers — the best front-line educators about HIV/AIDS prevention practices and tools — became impossible if grantees got American money.
But don't take my word for it. Please listen to the women who lost their clinics, their child care centers, and their entire communities because of George W Bush and Randall Tobias: watch Taking The Pledge, a 13-minute film featuring sex workers from Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Mali, and Thailand. They eloquently describe the problems created by the 'anti-prostitution pledge' required to receive USAID and PEPFAR funds.
Peoples' private lives are none of anybody's business. Randall Tobias can get his jollies however he chooses. But when he destroys effective HIV/AIDS prevention programs across the globe by requiring recipients to refrain from contact with sex workers, at the same time he patronizes sex workers, he is guilty of the most rank hypocrisy.
As is any Pamela Martin & Associates customer who voted for those programs. Stay tuned.
Teddy Partridge

Teddy Partridge