The Rumor Mill: No Condoms From The US

Supposedly, Laura Bush will head the US delegation to the UN session (UNGASS) on HIV/AIDS in New York late this month.


In advance of the First Lady’s visit, the Administration is doing all that it can to make sure she is well received (not!) by blocking various words and phrases from inclusion in the political declaration -- including all reference to condoms. Funny, the Rumor Mill thought the Administration supported ABC?

Morning Roundup: Rebukes, Inquisitions, Censorship

Anti-abortion forces were thwarted by the Minnesota Senate yesterday in their efforts to defy a 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court decision granting access to a full range of reproductive health options to low-income women. The Senate removed all funding for Health and Human Services thus removing the amendment promoted by right-wing activists.

International Roundup: News on Newborn Health and on HIV Prevention

A new, comprehensive report on child health from Save the Children draws attention to the simple yet unmet needs that make the difference between life and death in much of the developing world. Reporting in the International Herald Tribune highlights the report’s conclusion that the hours after birth are the most critical for protecting children. This report raises the nearly seamless issue of gaping needs for adequate maternal health care around the world. For more on that front, see our recent blog entry on maternal mortality.

International Roundup: Abstinence Only Failures Continue While Real Solutions Underfunded

Melinda Gates (yes, that Gates) writes in Newsweek about the big wrench in entrenched thinking about abstinence-only education: increasingly, women in the developing world are at greater risk contracting HIV within marriage than from any other source. The best solution? In her mind, microbicides. Behavior change would be great, but in the meantime, microbicides would save the lives of millions...

HIMMAA: A Non-Solution for America’s Health Care Crisis

Marilyn Keefe, Vice President for Public Policy at NFPRHA joins us today with her thoughts on HIMMAA.


Congress is once again trying to address a very real problem with ill-conceived legislation certain to do more harm than good: The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (“HIMMAA”, or S. 1955).

The problem? The inability of small businesses to afford health insurance. Congress’s solution? Allow insurance companies to discriminate against employees based on everything from how old they are to where they live and take away state protections that guarantee coverage of basic health care services. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

It’s Not Sex Education If You Don’t Talk About Sex…

It’s not sex education if you don’t talk about sex, and STIs won’t be prevented if scientifically-based discussions on prevention are prohibited. But before CDC's National STD Prevention Conference next week has even begun, the research-based, biannual meeting has been commandeered by anti-sex education ideologues.

According to Slate Magazine, “The conference was supposed to include a symposium designed to explore how abstinence-only sex education may undermine other efforts to reduce STDs.”

What’s up with HIMMAA?

“America needs a health care system that empowers patients to make rational and smart decisions for themselves and their families, a health care system in which the relationship between the patient and the provider are central, not a health care system where decisions are made by the federal government.” – President Bush, 4/6/06


Few could have said it better! So why is Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) advocating for the passage of the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (aka S. 1955, aka the “Lose Your Benefits” Act that would do just the opposite?

Church Waits For True Love, Developing World Starts Prevention Now

Despite the pope not yet taking a position as to whether married couples can use condoms when one partner is infected with HIV/AIDS, his followers are standing up and speaking out. Claiming it just makes common sense to lift this ban under the specific circumstances, Scotland’s Archbishop of Glasgow publicly stated his support for the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers’ “study on the use of condoms to fight AIDS.” Others in the Catholic Church urging the pope to lead on this issue include: Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, the retired archbishop from Milan, Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels and Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan of Mexico. Summarizing it best, Jon Fuller, a Jesuit AIDS physician, states "Ever since the AIDS epidemic came on the scene, we recognize that what's at issue in this case is not simply preventing conception but actually saving life."