Clinton, Edwards & Obama Want to Fight AIDS But Won’t Mention Condoms
Cross posted from My Silver State – Nevada's progressive community blog.
Update: Title changed, original title: "Hillary Has 3849 Word Plan to Fight AIDS – Doesn't Mention Condoms Once". More updates at the bottom of this diary.
The Hillary Clinton campaign sent out a press release today feat. their "plan to fight HIV/AIDS at home and abroad." If I'm not mistaken, they are the first Democratic presidential campaign to be doing this. Kudos for that. HIV/AIDS deserves more attention and a renewed focus.
That said, writing a plan consisting of 3849 words (according to my MS Word counter) and not once mentioning the one thing that best prevents one from being infected, condoms, may be politically safe when one doesn't want to be attacked by Republicans. But in the reality based world fighting AIDS without ever mentioning condoms is just whack.
This sounds even crazier when you consider that she supports federal funding for needle-exchange programs, which I applaud, but which leaves me to ponder: why is it politically feasible to mention your support of needle exchange but not of condoms?
On that end, she wants to do away with George W. Bush's abstinence only program – but not totally:
Hillary will end the Bush administration's abstinence-only prevention policy, and instead, fund evidence-based HIV/AIDS prevention programs including, but not limited to, abstinence education as part of a comprehensive prevention message.
So, a candidate vying for the Democratic nomination dares to say that she will fund abstinence education but dare not say that she will fund the distribution of condoms?
And just to be safe, she will mention her support of abstinence education time and again. Here's another instance:
Hillary supports giving young people age-appropriate information about HIV/AIDS and how to protect themselves against the disease, including by delaying sexual activity. But she rejects the Bush Administration approach of investing exclusively in abstinence-only sex education.
Her support of abstinence gets mentioned again and again, her support of distributing condoms? No luck there.
Here's the paragraph on prevention in full:
Increasing Funding for Evidence-Based Prevention Efforts – As President, Hillary will work to give individuals the tools needed to protect themselves against HIV by supporting proven strategies and targeting those efforts to the populations most vulnerable to HIV infection. Hillary supports giving young people age-appropriate information about HIV/AIDS and how to protect themselves against the disease, including by delaying sexual activity. But she rejects the Bush Administration approach of investing exclusively in abstinence-only sex education. She supports federal funding for needle exchange programs. And she will work to target culturally competent prevention efforts towards vulnerable populations that account for a disproportionate number of new infections. In addition, she will ensure that women, who account for more than one-quarter of all new HIV/AIDS infections in the U.S. , have the knowledge and tools necessary to protect themselves against HIV.
If you're a Clinton supporter, thank her for publishing her plan to fight HIV/AIDS but make sure to ask her why condoms are not mentioned once.
If you support someone else, ask them if they have a plan to fight HIV/AIDS and if their plan would include condoms.
You can read the plan in its 3849 word entirety at My Silver State.
Turns out Hillary Clinton isn't the only one with an HIV/AIDS plan. John Edwards has got one two. You can read it here. Kudos to him. However, just as Hillary Clinton's plan, John Edwards' plan doesn't mention condoms either. Which is a shame. And which brings me to another question: why won't Democratic candidates for President advocate condom use? And I mean literally, not by talking around it. Does it really take so much courage to utter the word condom? And, yeah, most of us are aware, as some of you pointed out in the comments, that both Hillary and Edwards are for condom use and would probably support financing it as well. But they dare not say it out loud. Why?
Barack Obama also has a plan. You can read it here (pdf!). And guess what! No mention of the word condom either. I'm seriously pissed by now. Here we have three major presidential candidates of the Demcratic party unwilling or unable to utter the word condom.